The Daily Star, Hammond, La., on keeping the interstate green:

April 16

The Daily Star, Hammond, La., on keeping the interstate green:

The median and road sides of Interstate 55 are not coming up clover. For Southeast Louisiana’s unique needs, the landscape plan is a combination of Burmuda and Bahiagrass.

In response to a reader’s inquiry, we called the state highway department’s District 62 office in Hammond and spoke with area engineer Phil Graves about why the highway department is mowing the clover along I-55 at this particular time of spring just before the flowers start to bloom. We happen to know that up in Mississippi, especially along Highway 25 between Jackson and Tupelo, the road sides bloom a bright maroonish red in spring. Also, we asked a horticulture specialist at the LSU AgCenter’s Research Station in Hammond, and she verified this is not the time of the year to be mowing sweet clover — if you want it to bloom.

However, as it turns out, clover is not the plan for Tangipahoa Parish. Engineer Graves explained that state highway department landscapers have determined Burmuda and Bahiagrass are durable, drought-resistant and best for preventing erosion along the newly resurfaced interstate. Green grass, not clover, is what the Department of Transportation and Development is growing there.

Purple and gold would be nice, of course, but let’s not complain that our road sides are not coming up Mississippi State maroon. Southeastern green is excellent.

Mr. Graves also mentioned that Tangipahoa’s stretch of I-55 gets mowed about six times a year. Accommodating everyone’s scheduling requests is not easy, but he said the DOTD does endeavor to coordinate its roadside maintenance with towns that are trying to attract tourists to festivals and anti-litter groups that are trying to get litter picked up before it gets chopped to tiny bits.

Let’s not trash the road sides. Let’s report those who do. The hotline is 1-888-548-7284 (1-888-LIT-R-BUG).


St. Mary Now & Franklin Banner-Tribune

Franklin Banner-Tribune
P.O. Box 566, Franklin, LA 70538
Phone: 337-828-3706
Fax: 337-828-2874

Morgan City Daily Review
P.O. Box 948, Morgan City, LA 70381
Phone: 985-384-8370
Fax: 985-384-4255

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