By Portia Williams
GREENUP, Ky. — As Kentucky Transportation Cabinet moves into this year’s mowing season, motorists are being advised to watch for Transportation Cabinet crews and contractors trimming the grass along northeast Kentucky roadsides during the month of May.
Allen Blair, KYTC District 9 public information officers said they need for motorists to slow down during the mowing season.
“We do have slow-moving equipment on the road when they are mowing along the roadside, so we do ask people to slow down for that, and to be careful. Primarily, we don’t want anyone to get into any kind of crashes with our mowers, or to get hurt themselves, as well as our crews, that is why we put up signs when we are mowing,” Blair said.
Contractors will be mowing by May 19 along Interstate 64 in Bath, Rowan, Carter and Boyd counties and along the AA Highway in Mason, Lewis, Greenup and Carter. By May 27, contractors will be mowing along the US 23 corridor in Boyd and Greenup counties, and other major state routes across the northeast.
“One of our biggest concerns is on those rural routes where we have our crews mowing, we want people to just watch for them,” he said.
In addition, state maintenance crews are now mowing on state highway rights of way throughout Kentucky Department of Highways District 9’s counties of Bath, Boyd, Carter, Elliott, Fleming, Greenup, Lewis, Mason, Nicholas and Rowan.
While mowing operations do not typically cause lane closures or similar impacts, motorists should watch for traffic changes – especially slowed traffic or traffic backups along two-lane highways.
The Transportation Cabinet asks motorists to help put safety first by slowing down and using appropriate discretion where crews are working.
According to Blair, residents are also reminded that Kentucky law prohibits political or other advertising signs from being posted on state right of way. Signs can be a hazard to motorists and mowing crews, and will be removed.
“During this time of year there are a lot of signs out there, and we encourage people to remove them. The signs are made with metal wires that stick into the ground, and those wires can get caught up into a mower and be thrown out with great velocity which can be very damaging. During mowing season it can be a very serious issue for a mower to run over a sign,” he said.
Owners of signs may retrieve them for a period of time after removal by visiting the state maintenance facility within their county.
Portia Williams can be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 286, or on Twitter @PortiaWillPDT.