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Brush & Tree Limb Control

Roadside Brush and Tree Limb Control Promotes Traffic Safety

Maintaining the safety of county roads by controlling potential hazards like brush and tree limb growth along shoulder areas within right-of-ways is the priority of the Eaton County Road Commission’s (ECRC) roadside management policy.

Controlling Roadside Brush Growth Makes Roads Safer

A wider shoulder area gives motorists more space to escape potential traffic crashes, improves sight distances and creates openness for driving ease and less eye strain.The roadside also furnishes space for snow removal and storage and provides an area allowing for proper road drainage.  Brush could invade roads if left unchecked.

Three Ways to Control Roadside Brush and Branches

Crews clear obstructions by mowing or using another mechanical device, hand-cutting and spraying with herbicides.  Chemicals are used in rough or inaccessible areas where hand-clearing and mowing would be hazardous.

Guidelines for Roadside Vegetation Removal

Clear zone limits specified for paved roads without curbs and unpaved roads.

The part of the roadside cleared of vegetation is the clear zone.  The clear zone limit for paved roads without curbs is at least 10 feet from the edge of the traveled way (where the shoulder begins).  For unpaved roads, the limit is at least six feet from the edge of the traveled way.

Outside residential development areas at unpaved roads and paved roads without curbs, brush should be cleared at least to the centerline of the ditch or 10 feet from the edge of the traveled way, whichever is greater.  The clear zone for both paved roads without curbs and unpaved roads outside residential areas should extend to the right-of-way line where possible without the property owner objecting.

Clear zone limits may be extended beyond the minimums where necessary at intersections, sharp horizontal curves, areas of steep side slopes, and other areas identified by engineering evaluation.