Full Right-of-Way Ditch Mowing
Department: Saskatchewan Ministry of Highways and Infrastructure
WHEREAS the Ministry of Highways and Infrastructure's present policy only allows for full right- of-way cuts on Level 1 Highways; and
WHEREAS the present policy to mow only 4 meters from the shoulder on Level 2 Highways is allowing brush and willows to grow causing a safety hazard for motorists entering from grid roads;
BE IT RESOLVED that SARM approach the Minister of Highways and Infrastructure and request a full right-of-way cut for all Level 2 Highways be put into policy.
Response from Honourable Don McMorris, Minister of Highways and Infrastructure:
This Resolution references the Ministry's present policy on ditch mowing program.
Based on current budget and other operational needs, the Ministry takes a balanced and strategic approach to its annual mowing program. This approach focuses on improving safety, visibility and aesthetics for the citizens and tourists travelling the provincial highway networks, while providing farmers and ranchers the opportunity to salvage hay for free.
The Ministry is challenged by balancing the level of effort placed on mowing against other equally or more important work activities associated with managing a relatively large transportation network.
In 2013, the Ministry tendered approximately 37,000 hectares of mowing to private mowing contractors, similar to last year, at an estimated cost of $2.7 million. Mowing contracts closed 35% higher in 2013 for the same number of hectares as last year.
Also in 2013, the Ministry entered into agreements with 26 rural municipalities to complete ditch mowing within the highway right-of-way. These rural municipalities will complete 1,900 hectares of mowing as part of the agreements. This is an ongoing program where the Ministry partners with interested rural municipalities for ditch mowing. In 2013, eight new rural municipalities are participating in this program. The Ministry appreciates SARM's continuing offer to assist the Ministry with mowing. If rural municipalities wish to pursue mowing agreements with the Ministry, they can contact their respective Regional District Operations Director.