I read 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.
Communications Manager, VDOT Culpeper District