Mowing company sought for summer contract

Published 9:29 am Tuesday, March 5, 2013

ODOT plans to outsource some work


By contracting out this year’s spring and summertime mowing over a multi-district operation the Ohio Department of Transportation is hoping to benefit on multiple fronts.

In the next few weeks ODOT will advertise a contract for a single mowing company that will take care of the four-lane highways in Districts, 5, 6, 10 and 9, of which Lawrence County is a part.

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Highways in District 9 affected will be U.S. 35, 23, 52 and 32 and the four-lane section of State Route 93. ODOT crews will continue mowing on the two-lane roads they have jurisdiction over in each district.

“This frees us to do other maintenance work,” Kathleen Fuller, ODOT District 9, spokesperson, said. “Mowing is a pretty long operation. There are a couple of different positives. Our crews will now be doing more pavement repair, culvert work, a lot of different things we need to be tackling on a daily basis.”

While bringing in an outside contractor will not cause any layoffs, ODOT is also expecting bundling this work will end up saving money in the long run, Fuller said.

“If you award a contract that is multiple, the contractor can give a better price,” she said. “That is what they do for a living. They can spread it out. And typically you save money over the long haul.”

Also by having a single operator handling mowing on these large venues there will be uniformity in the appearance of these grassy areas beside the highways.

“A lot of times mowing becomes an aesthetic,” Fuller said. “There are times we have gotten behind.”

However, the savings and getting other roadway projects completed are the main reasons for offering a bundled contract.

“If we can put the guys out there instead of mowing,” Fuller said,“motorists would like potholes being filled and cleaning ditches and drains, that is huge. Ditching is important in southern Ohio. We tend to get a lot of flooding. If we can free them to go to (other) very important work and save money, that is a good thing.”

The contract will be awarded on April 11.