Evaluation of DuroTrim Vegetation Control Mats, HR-2090, 2002

(2002) Evaluation of DuroTrim Vegetation Control Mats, HR-2090, 2002. Transportation, Department of

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Abstract

The routine maintenance along Iowa's highways and roadways during the summer growing season is a time consuming and costly endeavor. Trimming around guardrail posts and delineator posts is especially costly due to the handwork required. Trimming costs account for approximately 50% of the shoulder mowing costs according to expense figures obtained from the Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT), Office of Maintenance. The FY 2001 statewide trimming costs for the Iowa DOT was approximately $430,000 ($305,000 labor, $125,000 equipment and materials). This product would be required to perform well for 9-21 years, on average, in order to recoup the cost of installation. This includes the durability of the product, but not the cost of repair due to traffic damage, snowplow and wing damage, or damage caused by mowing operations. Maintenance costs associated with vegetation creep over the mats and repair costs would extend the required service life. As a result of resource realignment, the Iowa DOT roadside maintenance policy, for FY 2003 and the future, will be to eliminate trimming around delineator posts unless the reflector is obstructed. This policy change will effectively eliminate the need for weed control mats due to the significant reduction in trimming. The use of the weed control mats could be justified in areas that are dangerous to maintenance workers such as guardrail installations in high traffic areas. Because the delineator posts are further from the edge of the traveled roadway, there is a reduced risk to the maintenance workforce while hand trimming. Because the DuroTrim Vegetation Control Mats appear to have performed adequately in the field trial, they could be considered for use, where safety conditions warrant. That use should be limited, however, due to the considerable initial cost and changes in Iowa DOT roadside maintenance policy. Application should be limited to instances where the use of the DuroTrim Vegetation Control Mats would have a significant impact on the safety of the roadside maintenance workers. The cost savings, due to the elimination of the trimming and mowing alone, is not enough to justify their use in most situations at their current cost. The test sections will continue to be monitored periodically so that approximate service life can be determined.

Item Type: Departmental Report
Keywords: Benefit cost analysis, Economic policy, Maintenance practices, Mowing, Weed control
Subjects: Transportation
Transportation > Materials
Transportation > Roads and highways
Transportation > Economics, finance, and taxes
Transportation > Maintenance and preservation
ID Code: 19902
Deposited By: Iowa DOT Library
Deposited On: 24 Jun 2015 17:04
Last Modified: 24 Jun 2015 17:04
URI: http://publications.iowa.gov/id/eprint/19902