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Section 11: Mowing and Baling Hay on Highway Right of Way

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Overview

Transportation Code, Section §202.059 grants the authority to district engineers to permit a person to mow, bale, shred or hoe the right of way of any designated portion of a highway that is in the state highway system within the district. However, the district engineer must provide the adjacent property owner the option of mowing, baling, shredding or hoeing the right of way before allowing any other person to perform these operations, except in cases where the property is located in a county of 10,000 or fewer inhabitants. The district engineer has the authority to deny any request.

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Permission to Mow or Bale

The person granted permission to mow, bale, shred or hoe may not receive compensation for performing the operations but is entitled to use or dispose of the hay or other materials produced. The department is not liable for any personal injuries, property damage or death resulting from the performance of these operations.

Before granting permission, the department should provide written notification to the person making the request that certain conditions must be met. Permission is granted provided that:

  • no mowing or other operations will be allowed when the ground is wet
  • operations should be stopped immediately if necessary to avoid damage to shoulders, slopes etc.
  • the department will determine when mowing can commence in order to preserve wildflowers
  • the department will be harmless in the event of an accident due to this operation
  • the department is not liable for the quality of the hay or for injury or death of any animals caused by debris in the hay
  • all operations will cease should the department determine that the operations are creating an undue traffic hazard
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  • the department will be reimbursed for repair of any damages caused by this operation.
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Grazing Restrictions

Persons wishing to bale hay on the highway right of way should be aware that some vegetation could have been treated with herbicides with grazing restrictions. Mowing and baling in medians should normally be prohibited.

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Letter of Agreement for Mowing and/or Baling Hay

The department produces a Letter of Agreement for Mowing and/or Baling Hay (Form 2041) according to the following guidelines:

  • This letter agreement may be finally executed (signed) by the district engineer or his/her designated representative.
  • Districts may establish effective dates for the letter agreements at their discretion. A 6-month time frame is recommended. An open-ended agreement (without a termination date) is not recommended.
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