Tall grass, weeds a safety concern at rural intersections

Smith County to spray certain locations to slow growth

WEBXTRA: Smith County approves road treatment to control vegetation

TYLER, TX (KLTV) -Sometimes it’s best to let nature take its course, but when the safety of rural roads becomes an issue preventative measures can be taken.

Smith County has a new plan to tame the growth of roadside vegetation in order to improve driver’s visibility.

“In the past few years we’ve had a lot of problems with the amount of rains contributing to growth back at intersections,” says Frank Davis with the Smith County Road and Bridge Department. “The growth is blocking the view of traffic and also blocking growth as high as to cover a stop sign.”

Davis says they’ve had to pull maintenance crews off other jobs to re-mow intersections, and this year the growth was so high in some areas that the county mowed for a month longer than usual.

“As a solution we are Looking at doing some specific spraying at intersections to control that growth,” says Davis. “The goal is to make it more manageable between the mowing.”

Davis says the spray is currently used in Brazoria County, Smith County will enter an inter-local agreement with Brazoria to utilize the materials and contract.

At Tuesday’s meeting of the Smith County Commissioners Court, Commissioner JoAnn Hampton raised concerns about the spray impacting bees and wildflowers and getting on people’s pasture land. Those concerns are part of the reason the county hasn’t done any spraying in the past 3 years, but Davis says this spray won’t be harmful, the goal is just preventing accidents.

“It will still allow grass and good things to grow,” says Davis.

The county will try the spray in test locations for one season before deciding if this is a long-term solution.

Davis says spraying will begin at specific intersections and bridge locations in a couple months.

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