Governor Bob McDonnell announced today that the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) will carry out a statewide mowing blitz through Tuesday, July 2nd to make traveling on Virginia roadways as safe and inviting as possible over the Fourth of July holiday.
"A clean, well-cut roadway enhances the state's appearance for residents and visitors, but of greater importance is the effort to improve a motorist's ability to see signs, guardrail and oncoming traffic, and to pull over during an emergency," said Governor McDonnell. "Additional mowing will be ongoing throughout the year, but we wanted to make sure that our roads and highways are ready to welcome the public to the Commonwealth ahead of the holiday weekend."
VDOT state and contractor forces have coordinated their work schedules to mow as many state maintained roads as possible before Independence Day. Leading up to the holiday, motorists will observe crews collecting litter and conducting mobile mowing operations on medians and shoulders.
VDOT will always mow an area where a sight distance hazard is reported or observed, regardless of the mowing schedule.
Generally, VDOT adheres to a mowing schedule that is dependent upon weather conditions, which affect the vegetation growth rate. Virginia Tech advises VDOT on its mowing schedule and mowing practices to help the agency make decisions based on predicted weather patterns and the type of vegetation growing in each region of Virginia.
Keeping Crews Safe
VDOT's maintenance crews and contractors mow in a slow-moving mobile operation, with tractors and workers on foot. To protect workers, motorists are asked to:
- Watch for posted work zone signs, slow-moving equipment and crews along roadsides and in medians
- Reduce their speed
- If possible, move over to the adjacent travel lane when approaching a work zone
Reporting Potential Hazards
Motorists are encouraged to contact VDOT's 24-hour Customer Service Center at 1-800-FOR-ROAD (800-367-7623) to report sight distance hazards on interstates or roadways.
Potential safety hazards may include grass, trees or other vegetation blocking highway signs, or blocking a motorist's view of oncoming traffic.