Kentucky Roadsides Get Less Mowing

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Budget cuts and the high price of gasoline are even having an effect on Kentucky's beautiful landscape.

If you've been noticing a lot of tall grass and weeds along Kentucky's major highways, it's not just because we've had more rain this year.

Mark Brown, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet's Public Information Officer, tells 27 NEWSFIRST, "Compared to last year, we have scaled back mowing cycles on most of our expressway system from 5 per season to 3 per season."

No mowing has been done along I-64 since 2 weeks before the Kentucky Derby and won't be done again until late July, but drivers tell us the situation is even worse in certain other states. Illinois resident
Janae Crumer says, "It's much worse there. My husband and I were just talking on the drive down here about how bad the weeds were."

Transportation cabinet leaders here are hoping Kentuckians can view this slo-mow policy as just necessary belt tightening. Mark Brown says, " We're making some sensible reductions in order to stretch very limited resources. Tight budget situations call for an examination of every expenditure."

The width of the cut will also be reduced during the mid summer mowing cycle which will require less machinery and thereby less gas.
But the metro loops like New Circle Road in Lexington and the Watterson in Louisville will get the 4 mowings, instead of the usual 5, to keep them looking spiffy since those roads help to showcase urban areas.

With no more mowing scheduled now until late July, a word of warning,
by then, state troopers might be able to literally lay in the weeds waiting for speeders.

As for how much money the reduced mowing schedule might save, the Transportation Cabinet says they can't make a good estimate until negotiations with mowing contractors are finalized.

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