Protecting Public Roadways
Brambles, vines, weeds, and brush that grow along the roadside can threaten public safety in many ways. Vegetation may limit motorists’ ability to see hazards. Vehicles, pedestrians, animals, and hazardous objects can be screened by vegetation at intersections, curves and driveways. Vegetation can also obstruct traffic signs. Vegetation can cause excessive accumulations of ice, snow, water, and debris on the roadways – all of which are potential safety hazards for motorists. Some court decisions have held that vegetation along the road is an unnecessary hazard to a motorist who runs off the road. By keeping road shoulders free of vegetation, the Lake County Highway Department creates an area that is safer for pedestrians and bicyclists, as well as, for motorists to stop in an emergency. Reducing the amount of vegetation along the road also reduces the fire hazards.
Preserving the Roadways
Vegetation on the road shoulders and ditches can prevent water from properly draining away from the road surface, shoulders, and ditches. This excess moisture causes the roadbed to deteriorate, and is one of the major reasons for road surface failures. Vegetation is removed to extend the life of the roads, and prevent costly repairs.
Eliminating Noxious Weeds
Many weeds that could threaten agriculture or native plants are brought into Lake County be the vehicles that travel county roads. Eliminating these weeds before they have a chance to spread is important for farmers, foresters, and gardeners.
Can the county cut trees or prune shrubs on the right-of-way in front of my property?
Yes. The Lake County Highway Department may remove or alter any tree or shrub on the right-of-way without notice. Vegetation is generally removed if it is determined to create a safety hazard where the County could not be liable because of its condition or location. It is also removed if it interferes with road maintenance or affects the condition of the road. At times, there may be roads that require more extreme measures in clearing brush, thereby opening up sight distance for better visibility. On more significant projects, we may notify the public by posting signs on those roads.