Enhanced Vegetation Management Planned For Indy Metro Area Highways

(INDIANAPOLIS) – The Indiana Department of Transportation announced today that contractors will step up measures as part of INDOT’s integrated vegetation management program to control incompatible and undesirable vegetation within INDOT highway rights-of-way, especially those that are impacting highway infrastructure in the Indianapolis metro area. Beginning soon, a large-scale effort to treat or remove invasive, undesirable woody plant species, and some other select plants will get underway to make space for desirable native plants.

Contractors will focus on removing plants that interfere with the operation and inspection of, or in many cases inhibit access to, noise barrier access doors, high mast lighting towers, intelligent transportation system (ITS) structures, large culverts, around bridges and other infrastructure.

Crews will be hard at work within the approximately 4,000 acres of right-of-way of the Indy metro area targeting smaller invasive plants with herbicide. Mechanical vegetation management methods will be used to remove plants less than 20 feet in height around infrastructure. Follow-up treatments of undesirable regrowth in these areas are also planned.

Larger, desirable trees will be kept in place, whenever possible, with only pruning of lower branches being carried out. Intentionally planted trees, shrubs and wildflowers will not be treated or removed as part of this effort. However, crews will be carefully working within many of these areas to ensure control of invasive plants likes callery pear and Asian bush honeysuckle and even some herbaceous plants like Canada thistle. To learn more about these and other invasive plants threatening INDOT right-of-way (and other natural areas) please visit the Indiana Invasive Species Council’s website- www.entm.purdue.edu/iisc/invasiveplants.html

Motorists should be aware of crews working in roadside areas and move over and slow down whenever possible. Limited lane restrictions may be needed in some areas during mechanical vegetation removal operations.

These vegetation management efforts are part of Greener Crossroads, INDOT’s initiative to beautify roadside areas in a sustainable way. Learn more about Greener Crossroads at www.greenercrossroads.com.

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