Highway Mowing Budget

Res #: 27-12M
Number: 27
Year: 2012
Midterm: Yes
Expired: Yes
Responses Received: No

WHEREAS the previous wet summers have allowed grass, willows, poplars, cattails and other brush to grow in the provincial highway road allowances at uncontrolled, faster than normal rates; and

WHEREAS this type of uncontrolled vegetation growth on provincial highway road allowances cause snow problems in the winter and is ideal harborage for wildlife; and

WHEREAS full right of way mowing of all provincial highway road allowances will significantly increase the safety of travelling motorists from these types of dangers;

BE IT RESOLVED that SARM lobby the Ministry of Highways and Infrastructure to increase the 2013 budget to allow for sufficient funding for full right of way ditch mowing adjacent to all provincial highways on a 3 year rotation.

Response from Honourable Don McMorris, Minister of Highways and Infrastructure:

Current standards allow one shoulder cut on the Gateway Corridor Network (the National Highway System is included in this category) in Stage 1 which is from June 7th to July 15th; stage II starts between July 15th and October 15th. Four-lane divided highways receive a full cut and the remaining network receives a 4 m shoulder cut in Stage II. The level of service for mowing in both stages is determined after review of several factors such as two-lane versus four-lane highways, tourism, rural versus urban settings and unique locations like provincial parks and high animal collision locations.

The Ministry takes a balanced and strategic approach, within the context of the current budget and other operational needs, to its annual mowing program. The approach encompasses delivering an effective mowing program that entails improving the safety of motorists through enhanced visibility and aesthetics for tourists traveling our highways, while providing farmers and ranchers the opportunity to salvage hay for free.