High Weeds Along Roadways

- AMARILLO -- As you hit the road for the holiday weekend, you may see a lot more weeds along the roadways.

    The abundant rain we've had so far this year is adding to the problem.  But, why aren't they being mowed?

    The simple answer:  It's not time to mow yet.

    Contractors for the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) perform only three mows a year.

    Unlike most people, it's not as simple as cranking up your lawnmower and knocking them down.

    Here in the panhandle, TxDOT maintains more than 9,000 miles of roadways in 17 counties.
    That includes all the weeds along the side of the road.

    TxDOT contracts-out their mowing responsibilities to four different companies.

    They're currently in the process of mowing in some counties but, it takes time to cover such a large area.

    TxDOT spokesman Paul Braun says they pay $1.25 million/year to those contractors.

    "It's more cost effective to do it that way than to have a mower or two in every section that might sit there most of the year and be used only a couple of times a year and put our people out there mowing instead of  out on the roadway repairing pot holes and other maintenance work."  said Braun.

    Braun says they do have the equipment and personnel on hand if they need to do an emergency mow.

    Those would be necessary in areas where the weeds have grown so tall they're obstructing the view of drivers in places like intersections.

    Contractors are currently doing what's called the summer mow.  After this, they won't mow again until October. Then again sometime in the spring.

    Crews are currently mowing in Carson, Gray, Deaf Smith and Hartley counties.

    They'll mow Potter and Randall next week if the weather cooperates.

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