MoDOT crews will soon begin mowing roadsides across the state. Motorists will see tractor mowers near the shoulder of interstates and other busy roadways. Motorists need to slow down, move over a lane if possible and give crews room to work.
“State highway roadsides are mowed at intersections and along the roadway shoulder to provide good visibility,” said MoDOT State Maintenance Engineer Beth Wright.
“With more than 385,000 acres of state maintained roadsides, we can’t afford to mow like you would mow your yard. Our mowing focuses on visibility and safety.”
Major and minor routes will be mowed at least three times through the end of October. Along with the mowing, crews selectively use herbicides to stunt grass growth as well as to control brush and stop the spread of noxious weeds. Wildflowers are an added benefit of not mowing fence-to-fence and careful herbicide usage.
On rural two-lane roads, crews may use a protective “follow” truck to lead motorists past the mowers.
Drivers are advised to use the following tips to safely pass mowers:
Be alert for trucks and tractors with lights flashing and moving slowly, 2 mph to 5 mph.
Slow down and focus on the road ahead of you. Avoid talking and texting on a cell phone or other distractions.
Be prepared to stop or drive very slowly behind a “follow” truck, especially approaching a hill or curve on a two-lane road.
Pass when you can see far enough past the “follow” truck to avoid meeting oncoming traffic.
Pass the mowers when it is safe.
Between mowing cycles, report grass and weeds blocking visibility at intersections along state roads to MoDOT. Contact MoDOT’s 24/7 Customer Service at 1-888-ASK-MODOT (1-888-275-6636) or fill out an online form at www.modot.org and click on Report A Road Concern.