HANNIBAL - MoDOT crews will begin mowing roadsides across Northeast Missouri and many places all over the state through May. The goal is to complete the mowing of all state roads to provide good visibility at intersections and a pleasant though not manicured appearance by Memorial Day weekend, the first major travel holiday of the year.

Here's the mowing plan for the Northeast District:

· Starting May 14, drivers will see tractors and protective "follow" trucks mowing along busy freeways and expressways.

· Mowing operation will then move to rural two-lane roads in the 17-county Northeast area with tractors and protective "follow" trucks.

· State routes on highways and streets through cities, smaller towns and suburban areas also will be mowed.

Tractors and "follow" trucks will be on the road from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday and some Fridays each week through May. In most areas, tractors will make one pass, making cuts of six feet to 15 feet wide, depending on terrain and obstructions. The next mowing will be in mid-July and the final mowing effort will begin in mid-September, with completion by Nov. 30.

Striving for the best value in every operation, MoDOT has streamlined its approach in taking care of roadsides by combining herbicide applications in March and April with three mowing cycles during May, July and September through November, weather permitting.

Between mowing cycles, motorists who see grass and weeds blocking visibility at road or street intersections along state roads should call MoDOT, and workers will respond and cut away the visual obstruction.

For drivers who come up behind a mowing operation:

· Be alert for trucks and tractors with lights flashing and moving slowly -- 2 mph to 5 mph.

· Slow down and focus on the road ahead of you. Avoid talking on a cell phone or other distractions.

· Be prepared to stop or drive very slowly behind a "follow" truck, especially approaching a hill or curve on a two-lane road.

· Pass when you can see far enough past the "follow" truck to avoid meeting oncoming traffic.

· Pass the tractor when it is safe.

For more information contact MoDOT's Customer Service Center toll-free at 1-888-ASK MoDOT (275-6636). You can also visit us online at www.modot.mo.gov/northeast.