About that VDOT mow­ing

Rappahannock News - - COM­MENT -

Iread the let­ter to the editor regarding VDOT mow­ing, and wanted to of­fer some in­sights into our pro­cess.

VDOT mows three times per year along pri­mary routes. The first two mow­ing cy­cles oc­cur dur­ing the grow­ing sea­son and are fo­cused on the road shoul­ders to main­tain line of sight, clear zones and ad­e­quate road­way drainage. The fi­nal mow­ing of the year in­cludes all VDOT right of way, in­clud­ing ar­eas like the par­cel men­tioned by Ms. Schiff­man be­tween Route 211 and Indigo Lane, to re­move woody and in­va­sive species like ailan­thus, elaeag­nus and mul­ti­flora rose. Yearly recla­ma­tion of these ar­eas re­duces higher main­te­nance costs later.

In 2015, VDOT’s main­te­nance best prac­tices man­ual was re­vised to in­clude spe­cific lan­guage to pre­serve pol­li­na­tor plant species, such as milk­weed. We strive to push our fi­nal mow­ing after Oct. 31 to al­low these plants to go to seed, but some­times the third mow­ing cy­cle gets an ear­lier start due to the num­ber of acres, im­pend­ing weather and lim­ited re­sources.

More about VDOT’s pol­li­na­tor habi­tat pro­gram is avail­able at www.vir­gini­adot.org/ pro­grams/pol­li­na­tor_ habi­tat_pro­gram.asp. STACY LON­DREY Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Man­ager, VDOT Culpeper District

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