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As we mow, so shall we reap: WVDOH invests in 110 new tractor mowers

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The West Virginia Division of Highways (WVDOH) just bought 110 new John Deere tractor mowers to use in each of the state’s 10 highway districts.
Transportation Secretary Jimmy Wriston, P.E., intends the new machines be used on the Mountain State’s secondary roads. The tractor mowers, with a unit cost of about $122,000, are paid for through a supplemental budget allocation requested by Gov. Justice and approved by the Legislature.
“We do a very good job mowing our expressways,” said Joe Pack, P.E., WVDOH Chief of Operations. “We expect the same on our secondary roads.
“The Secretary is not shy to address a problem with sufficient resources,” Pack said.

The new mowers are supplementing existing machines and replacing machines that had lived out their lives or were requiring too much down time and expense to keep in running order. In some cases, WVDOH maintenance crews were cannibalizing parts from old machines to maintain tractors for which parts are no longer available.

The WVDOH schedules interstates and expressways to be mowed at least three times a year. Secondary roads are to be mowed at least twice a year. The goal is to have even small, rural, low-traffic roads mowed at least once each year.
“The fix to getting this done is to buy the proper equipment to do the job,” Pack said.

The tractor mowers are coming to the WVDOH Equipment Division in Buckhannon a few machines at a time, and are being sent out to the 10 highway districts almost immediately.

There are currently 67 of the new mowers out in the field and in operation. More are on the way.

Keeping expressways and roadsides mowed is not just an aesthetic exercise. Keeping grass and brush mowed alongside the road makes it easier to see other traffic, prevents vegetation from damaging cars, and helps with drainage and drying off wet road surfaces.

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