Suspended contract leaves tall grass, trash along Ohio highways


(FOX19) - By Megan O'Rourke

Tall grass and trash. That's what drivers around the Tri-State say their seeing along area interstates and city streets.

A spokesperson for ODOT District 8 says there is a reason for the poor upkeep along Ohio's highways. The department suspended it's mowing contract with an Indiana-based company following a crash in May in Columbus.

A worker for the mowing company was found to be at fault for the crash that shutdown the interstate for hours. As a result, the contract was suspended earlier this summer until the company could establish a plan for better safety practices.

That contract resumed on Wednesday and mowing began in Warren County on I-71. Trash was scheduled to be picked up prior to mowing.

Officials say drivers should notice improved conditions throughout the Tri-State in coming weeks.

While ODOT maintains all highways and ramps, Cincinnati officials say they are also looking at ways to improve the maintenance plan within the city.

The Department of Public Services is generally responsible for clean-up, but city officials say it is managed on an "as needed" basis due to funding challenges. The city is currently in the process of completing a Maintenance Master Plan that will be ready in the spring of 2015 for a more systematic approach.

However, across the state line in Kentucky it already looks much different.

KDOT officials say, like Ohio, they contract mowing services, but paid extra attention to cleaning up the interstates prior to the Speedway race at the end of June.

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