TIFTON, GA (WALB) - The people who mow or medians and rights of way have to do a pretty big job before they can start their main job. They have to pull up signs that should not be there.
These signs on state rights of way is a year-round issue for the Georgia Department of Transportation, but they are a huge issue when they get into mowing season.
In southwest Georgia, the right of way of Interstate 75 is scheduled to be mowed four times this year and other state routes three times. Signs in the right of way will slow down the mowing crew and can create a safety hazard if the wire frame gets hung up in the mower and is slung out, Southwest District Maintenance Engineer Stacy Aultman said.
In a recent two-day period, GDOT Permit Inspector Engineer Amy Spivey estimates she picked up 50 signs in Coffee County alone.
While the number of political signs typically increases during an election year, they are not the only problem. Signs that advertise yard sales and real estate or goods and services for sale are often found in the right of way.
Signs on the state highway system – interstates and state routes – must be approved and permitted to be placed on the right of way.
The width of the right of way depends on the route. If there are power poles on the right of way, the edge is usually behind the poles. However, check with your local GDOT office for guidance if you aren't sure where signs are allowed on a particular route.
Signs removed by GDOT employees are held temporarily to give the owners an opportunity to pick them up.
The Department attempts to the owners before discarding the signs. To reclaim signs, contact your local GDOT office.
The Georgia Department of Transportation contributed to this story