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Why is the interchange so weedy?

When I use the interchange at East McAndrews and Foothill roads, it delights me to see my tax dollars so well spent. I am not referring to the overpass, but the tax money wasted on the landscaping. The city landscaped the area and then totally neglected it. Most of the planted vegetation has died, and the entire area is a weed patch. Does the city ever plan to take care of the landscaping? It is baffling why the area was ever landscaped if it wasn't in the budget to maintain it.

— Liz M., Medford

Without getting into the weeds, Liz, it appears there are many answers to your question.

We checked in with Cory Crebbin, Medford’s public works director, and he said that without knowing which area you’re talking about, he couldn’t provide specifics.

In general, Medford Parks and Recreation maintains some areas around the interchange, Crebbin said. So, if you do see well maintained plants, Liz, you can thank the parks department.

A storm water treatment facility did have natural vegetation planted that helps clean up runoff water, Crebbin said. The storm treatment area was seeded and the contractor maintained it for a year, and then the idea was for nature to take over.

“It wasn’t really landscaped, per se,” Crebbin said.

There’s also a wetland area near the interchange that is left more or less natural, he said.

In addition, Crebbin said, private property abuts the interchange, and that isn’t maintained by the city.

Basically, Liz, the interchange is a combination of landscaped areas, natural areas and private property.

“I’m not aware of any landscaping that has died that wasn’t intended to be natural,” Crebbin said.

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