MaineDOT

News Release for July 1, 2010

For more Information:
Paul Merrill, Public Information Officer - 207-624-3355 or 207-215-9297
Bob Moosmann, MaineDOT Maintenance and Operations - 592-0774

 

MaineDOT set to conduct annual roadside spraying program

The Maine Department of Transportation (MaineDOT) will begin its annual brush-control program along Maine’s highways starting Tuesday, July 6th, in locations throughout the state.

“We will spray selected roads in 4 of our 5 regions statewide this year. Only one region, Region 1, headquartered in Scarborough, will not be spraying brush along state roadsides in 2010,” explained Bob Moosmann, MaineDOT’s statewide vegetation manager who oversees the Integrated Roadside Vegetation Management Program for the department.

“Trees establish readily in roadsides throughout the state and present a continual challenge to the department. If we don’t remove them they would quickly present an unacceptable risk to the travelling public,” said Moosmann.

Trees reduce visibility along roadways which can obscure signs, traffic signals, and other structures. Vegetation can also limit sight distances at curves, driveway and road entrances, and hills. Uncontrolled vegetation can also prevent pedestrians, bicyclists, and children at bus stops from being seen in time for drivers to safely react and slow down or avoid an accident. Removing trees requires regular maintenance.

“Spraying is just one of many options the department uses to control unwanted growth year to year. Most recently we have seen an increase in invasive plants in roadside areas which may be controlled by mechanical mowing, brush cutting, or herbicides. We have responded to the various tasks by using an integrated approach designed to reduce our use of herbicides while incorporating other techniques into the program,” explains Moosmann.

MaineDOT hires contractors to perform roadside brush-control spraying throughout the state. Each region reviews its roads to determine those to be sprayed.

“We have incorporated the use of GIS technologies to map, schedule, and track roads sprayed. Our regions are now able to cycle, year to year, which roads are sprayed,” Moosmann says. “Now we do not need to spray every road yearly. We have not sprayed every road yearly since 2003. We have cut back the number of roads and the overall length of roads sprayed as well,” said Moosmann. This year, MaineDOT will spray approximately 2,800 miles of state maintained roads.

MaineDOT strives to use materials with the lowest environmental risks, as well as the lowest health risks for applicators. Spraying is done once a year on selected roadsides chosen for treatment. The materials used may include Garlon 4 (triclopyr), Krenite S (fosamine ammonium), or Escort XP (metsulfuron methyl). As part of its commitment to environmental and worker protection, MaineDOT uses the lowest rates possible for control of brush.

“Using materials in combination allows us to reduce the rate of each material and still get control of brush,” explains Moosmann. “Only hardwood brush up to six feet in height and softwood brush up to three feet in height is sprayed along roadsides in Maine. Oversized brush is removed by hand or by mechanized machines in all regions of the state.”

Pesticide training is conducted each spring for employees and contractors who apply herbicides for MaineDOT. The department focuses on personal safety, proper use of products, environmental concerns, current technologies, and maintaining buffers from sensitive areas, as key elements in the ongoing training program.

MaineDOT maintains a number of buffers to protect natural resources, water, livestock, pastures, gardens, and the public from exposure. Powered spraying is prohibited within 100 feet of wells and springs; 150 feet of parked vehicles; 100 feet of animal pastures; 150 feet of occupied buildings, homes, or playgrounds; 100 feet of organic farms, pedestrians, bicyclists, or picnic tables; or within the areas defined by MaineDOT No-Spray Agreements. MaineDOT’s No-Spray Agreement program is available to landowners and municipalities living adjacent to state-maintained roads. Parties who participate agree to remove brush in respective safety clear zones adjacent to their properties in lieu of herbicide treatments.

For more information about the spray program, or to request a No-Spray Agreement contact your local MaineDOT Region Office:

Region 1 (Scarborough) - P.O. Box 358; Scarborough, 04070-0358 885-7000 Region 2 (Augusta) - 45 Commerce Drive; SHS #98; Augusta 04333-0098 624-8200 Region 3 (Dixfield) - P.O. Box 817; Dixfield, 04224 562-4228 Region 4 (Bangor) - P.O. Box 1208, 219 Hogan Road; Bangor, 04401-1208 941-4500 Region 5 (Presque Isle) - 41 Rice Street; Presque Isle, 04769 764-2060

To obtain further information on schedules for your community, please contact your MaineDOT Region Office. To locate your Region Office, log in at www.mainedot.gov, or call MaineDOT headquarters at 207-624-3000. Technical information is also available from the MaineDOT Bureau of Maintenance and Operations in Augusta by calling 624-3600.

(Editors: A list of towns to be sprayed in 2010 is below for your reference.)

Region 2: Alna, Augusta, Boothbay, Boothbay Harbor, Bowdoin, Bowdoinham, Bremen, Bristol, Chelsea, Cushing, Damariscotta, Dresden, Edgecomb, Farmingdale, Friendship, Gardiner, Georgetown, Greene, Hallowell, Hope, Jefferson, Leeds, Litchfield, Manchester, Monmouth, Newcastle, Nobleboro, Pittston, Randolph, Readfield, Richmond, Rockland, Rockport, Saint George, Somerville, South Bristol, South Thomaston, Thomaston, Union, Waldoboro, Wales, Warren, Washington, Wayne, West Gardiner, Westport Island, Whitefield, Windsor, Winthrop, Wiscasset, Woolwich

Region 3: Adamstown Twp, Albany Twp, Alder Stream Twp, Andover, Anson, Athens, Avon, Beaver Cove, Bethel, Big Moose Twp, Bingham, Brighton Plt, Buckfield, Byron, Cambridge, Canaan, Canton, Caratunk, Carrabassett Valley, Carthage, Chain of Ponds Twp, Chesterville, Coburn Gore, Concord Twp, Coplin Plt, Cornville, Cove Point Twp, Dallas Plt, Dennistown Plt, Dixfield, Embden, Eustis, Farmington, Fayette, Freeman Twp, Frenchtown Twp, Gilead, Grafton, Greenville, Greenwood, Hanover, Harmony, Hartford, Hartland, Hebron, Highland Plt, Industry, Jackman, Jay, Jim Pond Twp, Johnson Mtn. Twp, Kingfield, Kingsbury Plt, Lang Twp, Lexington Twp, Lily Bay Twp, Lincoln Plt, Livermore, Livermore Falls, Lower Cupsuptic Twp, Madison, Madrid Twp, Magalloway Plt, Mayfield Twp, Mercer, Mexico, Misery Gore Twp, Moose River, Moosehead Junction Twp, Moscow, New Portland, New Sharon, New Vineyard, Newry, Norridgewock, Norway, Paris, Parlin Pond Twp, Perkins Twp, Peru, Phillips, Rangeley, Rangeley Plt, Ripley, Rockwood Strip T1 R1 NBKP, Roxbury, Rumford, Saint Albans, Salem Twp, Sandwich Academy Grant Twp, Sandy Bay Twp, Sandy River Plt, Sapling Twp, Shirley, Skowhegan, Smithfield, Solon, Starks, Strong, Sumner, T1 R13 WELS, Taunton & Raynham Academy Grant, Temple, The Forks Plt, Township D, Township E, Turner, Upton, Vienna, Washington Twp, Weld, Wellington, West Forks Plt, West Paris, Wilton, Woodstock, Wyman Twp

Region 4: Addison, Alexander, Amherst, Aurora, Baileyville, Baring Plt, Beddington, Blue Hill, Bucksport, Burlington, Calais, Charlotte, Cherryfield, Clifton, Columbia, Columbia Falls, Cooper, Crawford, Deblois, Dedham, Dennysville, Devereaux Twp, East Machias, Eastbrook, Eddington, Edmunds Twp, Ellsworth, Enfield, Fletchers Landing Twp, Franklin, Gouldsboro, Greenbush, Hancock, Harrington, Holden, Indian Twp Res, Jonesboro, Lincoln, Lowell, Machias, Mariaville, Marion Twp, Marshfield, Meddybemps, Milbridge, Milford, No 14 Twp, Northfield, Orland, Osborn, Otis, Passadumkeag, Pembroke, Perry, Princeton, Robbinston, Steuben, Sullivan, Surry, T10 SD, T18 ED BPP, T22 MD, T24 MD BPP, T26 ED BPP, T28 MD, T30 MD BPP, T31 MD BPP, T7 SD, T9 SD, Waltham, Wesley, Whiting, Whitneyville

Region 5: Allagash, Ashland, Caribou, Castle Hill, Caswell, Chapman, Connor Twp, Cross Lake Twp, Cyr Plt, Eagle Lake, Easton, Fort Fairfield, Fort Kent, Frenchville, Garfield Plt, Grand Isle, Hamlin, Limestone, Madawaska, Mapleton, Mars Hill, Masardis, Monticello, Nashville Plt, New Canada, New Sweden, Perham, Portage Lake, Presque Isle, Saint Agatha, Saint Francis, Saint John Plt, Stockholm, T14 R6 WELS, T15 R6 WELS, T16 R4 WELS, T17 R4 WELS, T9 R5 WELS, Van Buren, Wade, Wallagrass, Washburn, Westmanland, Winterville Plt, Woodland

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