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Rain delays cutting grass along highways

MODOT crews in Boone County were finally able to get back to work Tuesday. Consistent rain across the area continued to push back maintenance work like cutting the grass along the highway.

Richard Skelton, Boone County Maintenance Supervisor, said crews mow the grass along Highway 63 and I-70 at least three times during the summer.

The first cut is usually scheduled around Memorial Day. Skelton said this year it was delayed about a week due to rain. Tuesday was the second time crews were able to mow, which usually happens near the Fourth of July.

“It’s been hit or miss,” he said. “We’ve had wetter routes on the back roads that we can’t get to because it’s been so wet and the ditches are full of water.”

Skelton said the wet grass makes it difficult for the tractors to get through. Crews started mowing on I-70 eastbound Tuesday, but they ran into some problems.

“We had problems with getting tractors stuck and it kinda wears on the tractors a little bit,” he said. “All our tractors are 4-wheel drive, but even then they can’t make it through.”

Grass along the highway in some parts of Boone County was nearly four feet high. Skelton said the tall grass is a safety hazard for drivers.

“If the driver’s sitting at an intersection and they’re looking both ways trying to see the traffic coming, the grass gets so tall they can’t see,” he said. “Also, if someone gets in an accident in the median or off the road, it makes it easier for the fire and police officers to be able to get to them and help them out.”

MODOT plans to mow the grass along the highways for the third time around Labor Day.

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