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VENTURA COUNTY ROUNDUP | Ventura

More Oleander to Be Planted on Freeway

October 09, 2000|CATHERINE BLAKE

Caltrans is set to begin a $2.4-million project to replace almost 2 1/2 miles of dirt and temporary railing in the middle of the Ventura Freeway with dwarf oleander and a permanent concrete barrier.

Oleander currently runs from Telephone Road north to near Sanjon Road. It will be planted from about the Santa Clara River to Telephone Road.

Caltrans has almost 2,000 miles of the flowering bush in Southern California.

"It is the perfect freeway plant," said Ventura transportation engineer Tom Mericle. Oleander is bushy and green, requires little water, comes in a variety of colors and flowers many months of the year.

"This will reinforce the good driving experience in Ventura," Mericle said. "The road doesn't feel as urban, as much like L.A. and it reinforces [the idea] that Ventura cares about its environment."

The oleander will grow to about 4 feet tall when it reaches maturity in seven to 10 years.

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