SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Department of Transportation is reminding the public that the roadside mowing period is underway, requiring drivers to slow down, avoid all distractions and proceed with caution when encountering equipment and personnel. The heaviest mowing operations will continue until Aug. 15.

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Omer Osman“Keeping our roadsides maintained during the summer and protecting the environment are both vitally important,” said Illinois Transportation Secretary Omer Osman. “As we enter our peak mowing season, please remember to reduce your speed, drop the devices and drive extra carefully if you encounter workers. At the end of the day, we want everyone to get home safely.”

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During the summer, IDOT conducts two primary types of mowing. Safety mowing occurs directly adjacent to the road as needed. Maintenance mowing, which lasts for approximately six weeks and started July 1, includes areas next to culverts, ditches, traffic control devices and other structures, while following the Illinois Monarch Project Mowing Guidelines for Pollinators, protecting as much habitat and nectar resources as possible.

The mowing schedule helps to minimize the impact on the traveling public and encourage pollinator activity, which assists in the reproduction of flowers, fruits and vegetables that are essential to the state’s ecosystem and economy. Reducing the amount of land maintained and growing pollinator habitat also protects the endangered rusty patched bumble bee and the monarch butterfly, the official state insect of Illinois.

To view a short video about IDOT’s mowing schedules and its work with pollinators, click here or visit IDOT’s YouTube channel.

In 2020, IDOT joined in the launch of the Illinois Monarch Action Plan as part of the Illinois Monarch Project, a collaborative effort with local and state partners to help ensure the survival and successful migration of monarchs by increasing and protecting habitat.

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