Highway cable median barriers and guardrails help protect motorists from collisions and roadside hazards. Managing weeds and vegetation that grow around barriers and guardrails is an important part of maintaining these sites long-term, but it can be difficult, costly and cause safety concerns for roadside crews and motorists.
Cable Barrier & Guardrail Vegetation Management
The most common way to control weeds around cable barriers and guardrails is mechanical treatments or a combination of mechanical and a postemergence herbicide. If a postemergence herbicide is relied upon exclusively, the weeds have already produced seed, resulting in another crop of seeds waiting for the opportunity to grow.
There are also safety concerns with mechanical control. Mowing and string trimming on the interstate are one of the most dangerous jobs workers can perform. There is a risk of workers being hit by motorists, and mowers and string trimmers can throw rocks into traffic making it dangerous for motorists.
This common protocol is repetitive, costly and potentially dangerous. It is focused on height regulation rather than eliminating and managing the weeds for an extended period of time.
“The most dangerous job in our district is mowing and string trimming on the interstate. Not just dangerous for us, but for the public also.”
– Southern Roadside District Superintendent