VDOT Leverages Volunteers For Roadside Maintenance

Yard maintenance is already well under way for home owners and businesses in our area, but as VDOT launches into its 2010 maintenance season for Virginia roadways, they are expanding programs to defer costs and solicit assistance from citizens.

VDOT’s maintenance schedule for 2010 will be similar to the one adopted in 2009, which significantly cut back mowing cycles, extending the length of time between repeated mowing in areas where sight distance and motorist safety were not issues. This reduced policy has not go without notice, but the calls to VDOT were not all complaints. In response to calls from citizens asking for permission to provide additional mowing and maintenance activities along Virginia’s primary and secondary highways, VDOT is expanding its program to allow volunteers to assume responsibility for roadside maintenance.

image courtesy VDOT

image courtesy VDOT

“While we have stretched our mowing cycles the last few summers to save taxpayer money in this difficult economy, the safety of drivers, cyclists and pedestrians remains our first priority,” said Robert Prezioso, acting state maintenance engineer. “Our crews and contractors will continue to ensure that roadside vegetation is maintained so that everyone who uses state roadways has a safe view of their route and so our storm water drainage systems work as designed. Meanwhile, we encourage those who wish to adopt a highway to contact VDOT to receive the proper safety instruction and materials before they do any work near traffic.”

Adopt-A-Highway Program
ahh150The Adopt-A-Highway program has recently been expanded to encourage a new “volunteer mowing” alternative for interested citizens, civic groups and businesses.   VDOT will continue to accept volunteers to assist in maintaining low-volume primary and secondary roads through its Adopt-a-Highway program. For details about becoming an Adopt-a-Highway volunteer, and for more information on how VDOT maintains state roadsides, visit www.virginiadot.org.

2010 VDOT Mowing Standards
VDOT’s 2010 mowing standards provide guidance for state and contractor crews in the maintenance of vegetation along Virginia’s 58,000-mile highway system. The standards include guidance as follows:

Roadsides along interstates, high-volume primary and secondary routes are scheduled to be mowed no more than three times this year beginning in late April and ending in late October. Litter will be removed at the same frequency. Crews will mow up to 18 feet from the pavement’s edge or to the center of the adjacent ditch.

Roadsides along low-volume primary and most secondary routes will be mowed no more than twice this year between late April and late October. Crews will mow up to nine feet from the pavement edge.

Roadsides along unpaved routes and low-volume subdivision streets will be mowed once this year between late April and late October unless safety issues require more frequent attention. Crews will mow up to nine feet from the pavement edge.

Crews will continue to address areas along all roads as needed where vegetation may limit the sight distance of drivers, cyclists or pedestrians. Citizens are encouraged to report any roadside vegetation causing sight distance issues by filling out VDOT’s online maintenance request form at www.virginiadot.org   or by calling 800-367-7623 (ROAD). TTY users, call 711.

Comments

  1. Are you kidding me? How much money is being paid out of our budget to politicians and senseless, useless services? This is appauling. Will they be asking for volunteers to run the tax department next? Who would be dumb enough to spend hundreds or thousands on fuel and potentially damaging their own equipment just so our public officials can sit on their butts a few days a year and talk for 6 digits? Unreal. And one other thing. After years of virtually no snow, the budget is exhausted after 2 snow falls? It’s called contingency.

  2. Doug Landry says:

    The problem is that, when admin jobs were cut in Richmond @ VDOT offices, that money was not reapportioned to VDOT’s work lines. It was completely reduced. Thus, there are no monies for “contingencies.” It’s part of the “efficiency” push that has decimated VDOT’s ability to adequately do its job. You can’t just keep funding and expect to maintain quality. At some point, quality goes down.

    Also, think about this past winter – Virginia received 2 massive snowfalls (24+”) and a couple smaller ones (4″-10″ in places), plus ice and such. It takes longer man hours, equipment costs, and salt costs to deal with such massive snowfalls and all of the other accumulated precipitation. This winter was an aberration over the past few years, so – no – it’s not surprising that removal costs were shot going into “Snowmageddon 2010.”

  3. An ex-VDOT employee. says:

    I was there in the trenches of the actual working class of VDOT for almost 20 years, just to get a lay off notice. Oh, sure. I could have begged for placement into another position within the department. It would have been an act of blind faith on my part and believe me, faith and loyality are not in VDOT’s vocabulary any more so I opted to leave. Guess what. The position that I held that was “not needed” anymore was filled within 2 weeks of my leaving. I know this because I filled it at almost twice the pay working through a consultant service! And that does not include the consultants mark up for me providing my services. Thats why VDOT is broke and has no money. In my opinion it is currently run by a bunch idiots that could not manage their way out of a paper bag.