Back to Whatcom County home page Whatcom County | Departments | Contacts |  Help |  Search
 Public Worksheader image
  Public Works  | Services  | Contact Us

M & O Division

Public Notices

Roadway Maintenance


Surface Drainage Management

Traffic Operations

Vegetation Management

Snow Response Policy

Snow Routes Map

Weather Emergencies Winter Tips

Maintenance and Operations (M & O) Division

Vegetation Management

2012 Integrated Roadside Vegetation Management Plan

Our Roadside Vegetation Removing trees from roadManagement Program includes a manual brush crew, a mowing crew, and herbicide spray crew. The manual brush crew consists of five to six people: a basket truck operator, a chip truck operator, one or two brush pullers, and two flaggers. The work is generally of a preplanned maintenance program, but gives way to the need to address "hazard trees" in and next to the right-of-ways for public safety. In addition to the removal of "hazard trees", we trim trees and brush encroaching onto the roadway in an effort to ensure clear visibility for the traveling public.

Shoulder mowingOur roadside mowing program includes mechanical brush cutting and roadside shoulder mowing), each covering about 1900 lane miles of maintained shoulders.
Fall, winter, and early spring are the season for brush cutting. Mowers are equipped with either a rotary or flail mower head to chop and cut the heavy brush along the right-of-way. We brush cut the ditches and back slopes and limb and trim trees as needed. The late spring and summer months are devoted to shoulder mowing. Most of our mowers are equipped with short reach rotary blade mower decks of about 50" width. They try to mow all 1900 lane miles approximately five times during the summer.

Another aspect of our vegetation program is our Herbicide Program. This crew is staffed by two state certified applicators. There are several parts to our herbicide program, one being the maintenance of the minimum 12-inch bare strip next to the pavement for erosion control of the road surface by preventing encroachment of grasses and weeds. The second part covers the next zone, a 4-foot wide strip of low-growing brush and noxious weeds, treating the brush and weeds without removing the grass, which serve as a filter for road surface water runoff. The third part is our dormant brush winter program to keep small trees and blackberries back from the road edge. Other applications include signpost treatment, guardrail treatment, noxious weeds, and other special programs for construction projects.