The Ohio Department of Transportation is entrusted with 80,000 acres of land within highway right-of-way statewide. Our highway maintenance professionals follow statewide guidelines for mowing and vegetation control that are intended to:
- Maintain line of sight.
- Control the spread of invasive and noxious weeds.
- Promote the survival of vital pollinators.
- Help prevent grass and forest fires.
- Maintain aesthetics.
In the past, ODOT mowed the entire right-of-way along its routes before each summer holiday, including Memorial Day, Independence Day, and Labor Day. Today, ODOT regularly mows medians and the first 30 feet from the edge of pavement. Back slopes are mowed only once per year to coincide with Monarch butterfly migration patterns. In doing so, ODOT has reduced mowing costs approximately $1.8 million annually.
Generally, our mowing guidelines can be divided between the summer season, when our crews perform routine mowing within immediate areas of the right-of-way, and the winter season, when crews perform an annual mowing of the entire right-of-way and back slopes along all highways.
All mowing, regardless of season, generally cuts vegetation to a height between 8 and 12 inches. Medians and clear zones, like around intersections, are cut shorter and more regularly for safety.