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Friday, January 18, 2013

3 landscape maintenance tasks regularly performed by ADOT crews that you might not know about

If you liked this list we shared last month, you’re in luck today…

That’s because we have a similar one to show you. Except instead of focusing on electrical maintenance tasks, this list examines landscape maintenance and three related responsibilities ADOT crews regularly tackle that you may not know about…

1) Landscape care and maintenance
Many people might not realize that ADOT crews handle landscape maintenance at all, so let us first define a few of the basic duties.

In the Phoenix district alone, there are 220 miles of landscaped areas that sit adjacent to the ADOT freeway system.

Crews care for the plants and irrigation systems. They also have to worry about weed control, erosion, slope repair, graffiti abatement and litter.

Then there’s the land along the state highway system that’s not landscaped. These spaces are typically in the state’s rural areas and contain natural vegetation. ADOT crews maintain the native vegetation to make sure it doesn’t interfere with the roadways. That general maintenance includes weed control, mowing and basic upkeep – there is no irrigation to be maintained in these areas.

2) Dealing with technology
“Every single plant out there (within ADOT’s landscaped areas) has an irrigation emitter and buried underground are miles and miles of pipes that bring water out to those plants,” said ADOT Roadside Maintenance Manager Mark Schalliol.

He explains that the emitters are “complicated pieces of plastic” controlled through a radio network that allows ADOT crews to water plants remotely.

The system also gives Schalliol and his crews the ability to conserve water and quickly tell if an area is being overwatered.

“We have an extensive formula for watering plants,” he said. “We’re conscious of the water.”

Newer technology is being incorporated into projects where appropriate, said Schalliol, explaining how moisture sensors are now being used on two recent landscape projects. These sensors are activated by soil moisture and allow ADOT to monitor and control irrigation in response to soil conditions, irrigation and precipitation.

“We are trying these out as another way to monitor and control irrigation,” he said.

3) Landform graphics
Crews from the ADOT Landscape Section take care of all the landform graphics, too.

“Our biggest issue with those is when errant vehicles drive off the roadway,” Schalliol said.

Besides making sure the graphics keep their shape, crews spray regularly for weed control.

“People don’t like looking at weeds,” he says.

There’s more…
This is not an exhaustive list of all the maintenance duties performed by the ADOT Landscape Section crews, but, like with our last list, we hope it gives you a better look at some of the “unseen” tasks being performed by our crews every day.
Posted by Angela DeWelles   |  Labels:  Landscape, Maintenance
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