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How do DOT and the city of Wilmington determine mowing and road cleaning schedules?

Ken Little

Tall grass at Piner and Grissom roads, near Monkey Junction. StarNews photo by Si Cantwell.

Q. How do the N.C. Department of Transportation and the city of Wilmington determine mowing and road cleaning schedules? What is the annual mowing and road cleaning budget? What are the best contact numbers for the public if someone has questions about mowing or road cleaning?

A. Joseph Chance, DOT Division Three roadside environmental engineer, said the roadside environmental unit handles mowing for Interstate 40 and Interstate 140 for all six counties in Division Three, including Brunswick, New Hanover and Pender.

District Three is within Division Three and includes Brunswick and New Hanover counties.

The contact number for mowing and road cleaning questions is (910) 259-4919.

Gerard M. Taylor, DOT maintenance engineer for New Hanover County, addressed litter and hazard item pickup.

“The litter is an ongoing problem throughout the state,” he said.

In Brunswick and New Hanover counties in the 2012 calendar year, DOT county crews picked up 9,979 orange bags of litter.

In the first six months of calendar year 2013, DOT crews have picked up more than 7,535 orange bags of litter, Taylor said.

Taylor said the DOT schedules two “intense litter sweeps” a year: one in the spring for two weeks, and another for two weeks in the fall.

“However, the counties continue to pick up litter throughout the year as required,” he said.

For the District Three 2013 fiscal year that ended on June 30, 2013, litter and hazard removal costs totaled $337,279, Taylor said.

The DOT encourages partnering with public and private agencies to help reduce litter in North Carolina through the Adopt-A-Highway program, he said.

“If one wishes to help their community, they should contact their local N.C. DOT Maintenance office for more information,” Taylor said.

The mowing schedule is dependent upon the spring growth rate, “which starts the annual cycle cutting,” Taylor said.

Cycle cutting is performed four to six times in the growing season. Cutting is done every four to six weeks, depending upon growth rate, Taylor said.

For the District Three 2013 fiscal year ending June 30, 2013, mowing costs were $584,597, Taylor said.

Anyone with a concern about mowing or litter should contact their local NCDOT Maintenance Facility, he said.

District Three contact numbers are (910) 754-6527 for Brunswick County and (910) 341-0500 for New Hanover County.

In the city of Wilmington, street sweeping is handled by the city’s stormwater division, “which is funded by the stormwater fees,” city spokesman Dylan Lee said.

Curbed streets are swept an average of twice a month, with some variation based upon need, Lee said.

The city also sweeps major N.C. DOT thoroughfares once a month.

Downtown streets in the central business district are swept twice a week. Bike lanes and major bridges are swept four times a year, Lee said.

Non-curbed streets are not swept.

“All of these schedules can vary based on the weather and mechanical issues,” Lee said.

City sweepers clean around 10,000 curb miles per year and collect around 2,500 tons of sediment, trash and other debris.

The estimated annual street sweeping budget for the city is $820,000, Lee said.

For more information about the city program, call city Stormwater Services at (910) 341-4646.

City rights-of-ways and parks are generally mowed every week to two weeks during the growing season, “depending on a number of variables including rainfall and visibility,” Lee said.

The work is budgeted out of the city’s general fund and handled by Parks and Landscaping Division maintenance crews.

For more information, call the city Parks division at (910) 341-7855.




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3 Responses to “ How do DOT and the city of Wilmington determine mowing and road cleaning schedules?”

  1. On July 22, 2013 at 1:16 pm Corey Lewis wrote:

    A mowing schedule every 4-6 weeks? I have one word for that…ridiculous. With the rainfall we have been receiving every 4-6 weeks of mowing results in an absolute trashy looking town and city. Grass around the city and country is almost 12″ high in places. I for one am embarrassed to call this place my home. Drive around town once and tell me you don’t agree. The high grass, untrimmed trees and weeds and let’s not forget to mention the tennis shoes hanging from every other power and cable line is a flat out disgrace. The City of Wilmington, The DOT and New Hanover County officials should be ashamed of themselves…I am…and I’m ashamed to live in such a non kept place.

  2. On July 22, 2013 at 2:15 pm lee wrote:

    They haven’t cut the grass on Carolina Beach road at all this year so far. The weeds are getting so bad and hang out into the street so far that it’s getting even more dangerous that normal trying to ride a bike down that road as you HAVE to swerve over into the road lane now in a number of spots.

  3. On July 29, 2013 at 11:03 pm Pierre wrote:

    Try mowing every road in New Hanover/Brunswick and Pender County in 4-6 weeks and then get back to me about more regular mowing times. I’m surprised it’s that short of a cycle to be honest.

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