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Local News

Farmers Requested to Refrain from Cultivating Road Right-of-Way

Russell County SealFarming of county right-of-way is both increasing road maintenance costs and adversely affecting traffic safety according to a press release from the Russell County Commissioners.

Cultivation reduces the capacity of the ditch and results in poor drainage and weak subgrade during wet weather. Growing crops restrict sight lines at intersections and driveways, which can contribute to traffic accidents.

The County Commission requests that farmers help maintain good road drainage and safe roads by refraining from cultivating on road right-of-way. If unsure of the right-of-way line, just stay back from the existing ditch. Land owners can also check road width by calling the Russell County Road and Bridge office.

The County Commission also asks that farmers consider staying back further at intersections so you and your neighbors can have a better view down crossroads.

State law makes it unlawful to farm the right-of-way and willfully block ditches. Russell County has the authority to recover the cost of restoring the right-of-way and may exercise that option where ditches have been farmed shut. Crops growing on the right-of-way are legally considered an obstruction and a nuisance. During normal mowing operations, crops will be mowed just like normal vegetation.

A good grass cover in road ditches is needed to prevent erosion. Do not spray the right-of-way with Roundup or other grass killing herbicides.

To promote safety on rural county roads, residents are asked to report bad sight distance at intersections and other safety issues. Call the County Road Department at 785-483-4032 and leave a message.

(Information courtesy Russell County Commission.)

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