Statewide mowing in anticipation for holiday traffic

Posted at 7:19 PM, Jul 03, 2013
and last updated 2013-07-03 20:53:06-04

Drivers are sharing the road these days with massive mowers.

"We want to make sure that drivers can pull over and we don't want vegetation to get in the way of that," says VDOT's Lindsay LeGrand. "What we are doing is called a mowing blitz."

It's all part of VDOT's "mow-down" leading up to the holiday. Whether on two feet or four wheels, VDOT workers and contractors are clearing the green from Route 288 to Chippenham Parkway and beyond.

"That's something I do not mess around with. Work crews are important," says Brent Howard from Northern Virginia. "Anytime there are issues with blocking the lanes or something close to the lanes that's not good it's not good for traffic flow."

For several weeks workers have been trimming, cutting and edging the Commonwealth's highways.

"If we have vegetation growth that is taking over signage drivers won't be able to see where they are going. It will be unsafe for them," says VDOT's LeGrand.  "We just want people to be alert."

Drivers like Abel Guzman from Fredericksburg, who is traveling east on I-64 with his family and dog Rocky, appreciate the unobstructed views of highway signs and breakdown lanes.

"I notice a lot more cars are showing up on I-64 so hopefully it will be okay until we get down to the beach," says Abel. "I think (mowing) is a good idea especially with all of the rain that we've gotten. Stuff is growing all over the place, so it's a good idea to keep the roads clear."

If you do you find yourself out on the highways and byways this Fourth of July holiday, VDOT is asking you to slow down especially if you see mowing crews not only for the workers safety, but for yours as well.

Mother Nature has been throwing a wet wrench onto VDOT's mowing blitz the last few weeks. The rain is forcing man and machine to mow twice. Mowing down billions of blades is not all about safety.

Virginia's appearance ranks high on the priority list too. VDOT wants to roll out the green carpet on this red, white and blue holiday.

"We want to keep Virginia as beautiful as possible," says VDOT's LeGrand. "Right here during the holidays is when people are traveling our roads and we are very proud of that. We want to showcase that for Virginians and everyone else traveling through the state."