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Motorists advised to use caution as KYTC crews spray for invasive plants along highways


As the weather gets warmer and plants start growing, Kentucky transportation crews will be working to remove noxious weeds and invasive species that grow alongside roadways.

Kentuckians who are treating areas on private property adjacent to state-owned rights of way may request highway crews to treat select invasive plants for no cost. Some of these noxious plants include Kudzu, Common Teasel, Poison Hemlock, Canada Thistle, and more.

Allen Blair is the Information Officer for the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet. He said the agency manages invasive weeds to maintain safety and protect the integrity of Kentucky roadways.

“This vegetation can reduce visibility, and damage our ditch lines, and the drainage pipes, and cause issues with the safety out there on the highway,” said Blair.

Some noxious weeds like Spotted Knapweed and Canada Thistle can invade and destroy roadside turf grass, leaving areas vulnerable to erosion. Others like Amur Honeysuckle, if left to mature, can grow over 20 feet tall and wide, reducing roadway visibility.

Motorists are reminded to use extra caution when crews spraying for weeds are out on the roadways. Blair said the best advice he can give to people driving around the weed removal crews is to slow down.

“There will be signs, and there will be shadow vehicles that follow these spray trucks. So, watch for those signs and vehicles, and just you know, give them room to work. Slow down to protect yourself and the crews that are out there working the roadsides,” said Blair.

Anybody who wants to request weed treatment must submit a written application to their local KYTC Highway District office. Contact information to request an application can be found here.