The growth of Nevada has brought with it an increase in the need for roads and highways, many of which have become scenic streetscapes as well as efficient transportation routes. “Highway beautification can have significant impacts on the surrounding communities,” according to Chris Attanasio, director of landscape architecture at Poggemeyer Design Group, which has participated in numerous streetscape beautification projects throughout Nevada. “As well as being pleasing to the eye, aesthetic improvements can also promote economic development and revitalization, assist in air quality and provide a common visual theme that unites dissimilar sides of the street or defines a neighborhood.”
Poggemeyer Design Group understands the importance of developing a civil engineering and landscape design plan to provide a cohesive visual experience. Its contracts include such streetscape beautification projects as: the Las Vegas Downtown Entry Corridor project Phases I, II and III; the North Las Vegas Boulevard/Civic Center Drive Streetscape project; the Boulder Highway Streetscape Beautification project; the Fremont Street Experience project; the Lewis Avenue Corridor project; the landscape design for St. Rose Parkway; the Las Vegas Springs Preserve U.S. 95 sound walls; and the upcoming Gateways to North Las Vegas project.
Its Las Vegas Strip beautification project, which included plantings in the median of Las Vegas Boulevard all the way from Hacienda Avenue to Sahara Avenue, resulted in the corridor being awarded the country’s first “Scenic Nighttime Byway” designation by the Federal Highway Administration. In addition to landscape and lighting, the project included utility connections, new electrical service, curb and gutter replacement, crosswalks and a state-of-the-art landscape irrigation system. Construction management for this large undertaking included coordination with 100 property owners along the route as well as document control and payment processing.
Each site presents a different set of challenges and opportunities, said Attanasio, and Poggemeyer tries to take local culture, history and climate into account when designing streetscapes and nearby landscape elements. For example, the sound wall shielding the Las Vegas Springs Preserve from noise generated by the adjacent U.S. 95 freeway will be decorated with designs reflecting the history of the Las Vegas Valley. “With varying climates throughout Nevada, Poggemeyer is constantly increasing its knowledge of which plant materials thrive under the different weather conditions the streetscapes are exposed to,” said Attanasio. “It is important to select diverse plant materials that will be maintainable and sustainable with year-round appeal.”
Poggemeyer Principal Tim Pinter pointed out the importance of coordinating civil engineering with landscape design. “Our design staff takes the desires, needs and wants of the client and creates a landscape design for each project which is both functional and aesthetically pleasing,” he said. “The Poggemeyer team works together to create character and identification to meet the client’s specific needs for the streetscape project. Aesthetic elements that integrate the civil engineering with the landscape design include monument columns, decorative walls, structures, signage walls, fencing, sculpture, pavement, pedestals, public art, lighting, ground cover, decorative rock and natural stone.”
Poggemeyer Design Group offers professional landscape design services in Nevada, Arizona, California and Utah. With offices in both Las Vegas and Reno, it has won several awards for outstanding landscape designs that are sensitive to the desert Southwest regions. In addition to work on streetscapes, it has completed diverse projects for clients in both the private and public sector, including hotels, resorts, parks, sports complexes and retail/office parks.