Term of Award

Fall 2019

Degree Name

Master of Science, Civil Engineering

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Department of Civil Engineering and Construction

Committee Chair

Francisco Cubas

Committee Member 1

Celine Manoosingh

Committee Member 2

Jim LoBue


Maintenance of highway right of way (ROW) areas has become problematic during the last several years due to the high cost, and little to no economic return associated with disposing vegetation waste that is continuously generated on all highways and interstates across the state of Georgia. The Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) was interested in evaluating the feasibility of replacing ROW vegetation of highways throughout the state with high-value alternatives such as switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L. ‘Alamo’), big bluestem (Andropogon gerardii) and woodland sunflower (Helianthus divaricatus). Preliminary objective involved measuring and mapping SOC and soil N concentrations in the highway ROW using two alternative analysis procedures: a) SOC and soil N concentrations reported by the Soil Survey Geographic (SSURGO) spatial databases for each soil map unit (SMU) present at the ROW site; b) using kriging and inverse-distance weighting (IDW) to interpolate SOC and soil N contents across the ROW site from data obtained from field sampling. The second objective of this research project was to study the feasibility of replacing existing ROW vegetation with three crops (switchgrass, big bluestem and woodland sunflower) to study the bioenergy production potential of these crops under normal environmental conditions in ROWs in Georgia. The third objective was to perform an economic assessment aimed at identifying the break-even point where the generated biomass production would offset a fraction of the ROW maintenance costs.

OCLC Number


Research Data and Supplementary Material


Available for download on Tuesday, November 12, 2024