California Department of Transportation

Roadside Management Toolbox

Roadside Treatment Roadside Treatment Roadside Toolbox


Welcome to the Caltrans Roadside Management Toolbox, a web based decision making tool provided to improve the safety and maintainability of transportation projects. This toolbox provides design techniques and treatments that improve traveler and worker safety, protect the highway infrastructure and improve transportation system reliability by reducing the need for recurrent maintenance activities.

The California Department of Transportation manages approximately 15,000 miles of highway and 230,000 acres of right-of-way throughout California. The management, maintenance and control of vegetation on the roadsides has become increasingly difficult as the miles of roadway and acres of roadside have increased while maintenance resources have been reduced. Historic methods of vegetation control (manual, mechanical and chemical) have been sharply curtailed due to local development, increased traffic volumes, public concerns and other economic and environmental issues.

Following a 1992 Environmental Impact Report on Caltrans vegetation control practices, the Department adopted a formal Integrated Vegetation Management (IVM) program for its roadsides. A major component of this program are permanent vegetation control techniques that reduce the need for ongoing vegetation management. Since the adoption of IVM, District and Headquarters functional areas have completed research and field trials of a wide variety of permanent vegetation control approaches. The toolbox includes treatments composed of both materials familiar to traditional highway construction contractors (such as asphalt concrete, portland cement concrete and road base) as well as less conventional materials or products (such as polyurea coatings, rubber mats, and fiber weed control mats).

The toolbox is a living document, open to improvement and refinement as new treatments are identified and existing methods improved. Your feedback and input are vital to the continuous improvement of this guidance. Comments may be directed to

For more detailed information on how to use this toolbox, please visit our Toolbox User Instruction page.

Treatment Categories Treatment Details
Areas Beyond the Gore Exit Gore Area Signage
Guard Rail Posts and Sign Posts Minor Concrete Vegetation Control
Medians Asphalt Composite Vegetation Control
Road Edge Weed Control Mat (Fiber)
Side Slopes Weed Control Mat (Rubber)
  Asphalt Concrete
  Stamped Asphalt
  Patterned Concrete
  Irrigated Vegetation
  Minor Concrete Paving
  Native Vegetation
  Gravel Mulch
  Rock Blanket
  Rock Slope Protection


Updated: February 2014