Right of Way Ditch Mowing
Res #: 23-13M
Responses Received: No
WHEREAS some Saskatchewan highways only receive one shoulder cut of vegetation during the summer/fall season; and
WHEREAS grass, willows, poplars, cattails and other brush growing on provincial highway road allowances cause snow problems in the winter and limit the vision of the motorist for wildlife in the ditches; and
WHEREAS full right of way mowing will increase the safety of the travelling public and provide a more aesthetic look;
BE IT RESOLVED that SARM lobby the Ministry of Highways and Infrastructure to increase their 2014 budget to allow funding for full right of way ditch mowing adjacent to all provincial highways.
Response from Honourable Don McMorris, Minister of Highways and Infrastructure
This Resolution addresses the need for an increase in the 2014-15 Budget for full right of way mowing adjacent to all provincial highways.
The current Ministry standards allow mowing of the Gateway Corridor Network (the National Highway System is included in this category) in both mowing stages. A 4m shoulder cut takes place in Stage I which is from June 7th to July 15th. The Gateway Corridor network receives another 4 m shoulder cut in Stage II which takes place between July 15th and October 15th. Also, four-lane divided highways receive a full right of way cut in Stage II. The remaining highway network receives a 4m shoulder cut in Stage II.
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 per cent higher in 2013 for the same number of hectares as last year. An increase of this magnitude was not anticipated in the mowing program and the Ministry managed this increase by adjusting the surface program which resulted in less work on the road.
The Ministry takes a balanced and strategic approach to its annual mowing program against other equally or more important work activities associated with managing a relatively large transportation network. This approach focuses on improving safety, visibility and aesthetics for the citizens and tourists travelling the provincial highway networks, while providing fanners and ranchers the opportunity to salvage hay for free.