TxDOT address overgrown weeds along interstates

TxDOT address overgrown weeds along interstates

Amarillo, TX - Massive amounts of weeds along the highways are turning into a growing concern as citizens look for who's responsible for the upkeep.

Recent rainfall has contributed to the overgrowth of all these weeds along the interstate and the City said it's making them look bad. However, there is a reason these weeds remain.

"People don't understand that you know, we live here too, we want it to look good," Ron Johnston, TxDOT District Engineer said.

TxDOT is responsible for mowing all the right of ways among all interstates, however they're only given a certain amount of money each year to mow these spots.

"In our district the statewide mowing policy is actually for rural areas we have two mowing cycles that we do a year and in urban areas we do three mowing cycles a year, and sometimes if a need arises we can actually add a cycle," Johnston said.

TxDOT said added cycle is definitely necessary in our area, however it isn't cheap. A single mowing cycle costs the department $68,000, and that's not including the manual labor it takes to weed eat around bushes.

The department said they'd be happy to do the mowing, however the money has to come from somewhere, while still maintaining enough money to do road repairs, such as fix the city's infamous potholes.

TxDOT is now in talks with the City to propose a joint effort to keep Amarillo beautiful.

"We work real hard in Amarillo to create a safe and sustainable community and part of that is is that," Scott McDonald, City Building Official, said. "You can go to the metroplex, you can go to some of the other areas, Austin and San Antonio and all of the TxDOT right of ways are mowed and clean and neat. And it reflects well on those communities. For us, we have no control, we don't even have the right to mow on TxDOT right of ways. Yet it reflects poorly on the City of Amarillo."

The City and TxDOT said they hope to some day work in conjunction like other cities.

For now, TxDOT has begun mowing along the highways, working hard to make sure there is visibility and drivers are kept safe.