Public Works To Undertake Vegetation Clearing

August 21, 2015

As we enter the peak of hurricane season, the Ministry of Public Works said they would like to remind the public that owners of property next to a road are responsible for trimming back overhanging trees and hedges on their properties to stop vegetation from projecting into the road or sidewalk.

“Clearing roadside vegetation next to roads helps to limit damage and debris during hurricanes and makes the road network more resilient to severe weather events,” the Ministry said.

“The Ministry of Public Works’ Highways Section’s road sweeping teams make every effort to clear vegetation on roads and overhanging foliage around the Island, particularly after storms and heavy rain, and try to be responsive to any problems that are reported, however overhanging vegetation is normally the responsibility of the adjoining landowner.

“Over the next month, three crews from the Highways Section will focus their efforts on dealing with problem vegetation areas and complaints rather than routine cyclic work.

“Their program is as follows:

  • Eastern Team – Vesey Street, Middle Road near ornamental Ironworks, Harbour Road [where not completed by West/Central], St Georges [Barry Road/Government Hill area]
  • Central Team – Harbour Road, Orange Valley Road Jubilee Road, Tribe Road #1 Devonshire
  • Western Team – Harbour Road, Spice Hill Road, Tribe Road #5 Warwick, Tribe Road #3 Southampton

“Vegetation needs to be kept clear of a public road for a height not less than 4.9 metres [16 feet and 1 inch] above the surface of the carriageway or 3 metres [9 feet 10 inches] above the surface of a pedestrian walkway or verge. Further information on the requirements according to the law can be found in the Public Lands Act 1984.

“Where the problems are reported, property owners will be asked to trim back their vegetation. The public should be aware that if such informal requests are not actioned, the Ministry has the power to serve a ‘statutory nuisance abatement notice’ on the landowner. Failure to comply with the notice would leave the landowner open to risk of a range of penalties including prosecution.

“The Ministry of Public Works is requesting public full cooperation in promoting safer roads and a better environment, allowing our own teams to focus on our road cleaning and maintenance responsibilities.”

“Overhanging trees and hedges can cause safety hazards to road users including obstructed visibility, injury to pedestrians, pedal-cyclists and bike riders and damage to bus and truck windscreens and injury to waste collection personnel,” said the Acting Minister of Public Works Wayne Scott.

“There is only so much we can do with the resources we have; we really need the public to play their part. Tribe roads do tend to generate a disproportionate demand on resources as, being narrow, they can soon become completely blocked if not treated.”

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Comments (26)

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  1. Why don’t we raffle off full expenses paid vacations online…use some of the money to purchase packages from various resorts island wide…govt should do this…include taxi service and book all amenities….have weekly drawings etc…take the rest of monies and pay on national debt!…m’kaaaaayyyy?

  2. Hurricane says:

    Well, well, it’s about time!

  3. Bermybouy says:

    Please tell us why they are worrying about Vesey Street, Orange Valley, Jubilee etc. as they are secondary roads. The main roads should be the focus and then the secondary roads!!!! What a waste of time and my money!!

    Ok I now get it all of them are away from public scrutiny and eyesight.

    • I and I says:

      Most main roads are bordered by private property. It is the landowners responsibility to keep their vegetation cut back,not BDA Government.

      • Micro says:

        Government should just send them a bill or start giving out the appropriate fines.

        • Triangle Drifter says:

          Not worth the effort. Time spent chasing after land owners would cost far more than simply doing the job & not worrying about anything else.

          • Sailboat says:

            Not if you make it conditional to something like vehicle registration or permissions to travel. Government would be getting advanced.

            It is hugely presumptive and selfish that property owners would expect the public purse to maintain their property. Not surprising, though.

    • Rhonda says:

      Could it be that the secondary roads are narrow, barely, two way lanes as is…..thus pose a greater safety hazard..

  4. sage says:

    Don’t use that damned “rodeo” or roundup or whatever they sprayed on Harrington Sound near Shark Hole.

  5. Test the well water down there…

  6. Seascape says:

    They should worry about North Shore. A lot of it is not on private property. The road sides are overgrown all over the island. Hardly ever see the government workers cutting down or back the trees. Plenty of them by wires. They have not cleared what was knocked down from the hurricanes last year. Tourist don’t want to see overgrown trees and grass on the side of the roads.

  7. Triangle Drifter says:

    Maybe the headline should be “After public protest W&E say they are going to do their job”.

    Why is it that in 2015 W&E is using the same tools as they did 50 years ago. Surely it must be far cheaper to use power tools with the job needing a workforce half the size. Hedge cutters, chainsaws, trimmers & blowers are not that complicated to use & don’t need to take breaks or go on wildcat strikes.

    The whole job of roadside maintenance should be contracted out to private landscapers. Bottom line, it would cost less & look better too.

    • Frank says:

      The main thing would be accountability when you privatizes anything. If the company/person you contract out to do a job do not do it you terminate them and get someone else. There is no accountability in any Government so get on with it and privatize things like this and the same people can apply for the jobs and we as tax payers will get value for our money being spent and accountability.

  8. High Road says:

    what is the plan to enforce homeowners to clear the offending vegetation?

  9. Oh,I see now says:

    If people feel so strongly about the “extra staff” W&E have then one day stop and ask why everyone is standing around with only one person working.You will either learn something,have your suspicions confirmed or told to take a flying F@&K.I do not wish the latter to happen but if it does I hope I’m at the front of the line next to the red light.

  10. Takbir Karriem Sharrieff says:

    The whole length of ST Davids Road is Perilous …a danger to the Public and a priority………residents with overhanging shrubbery should be fined and the workmen of Public Works should be paid overtime for the time accumulated for providing the service…for the Public….A bill just sent to the residents home everytime will fix that…..right away…!

  11. HeyBye says:

    Privatize clearing the road sides and it should be done all year round. That way the job gets done correctly and on time.By staying on top of the over growth there is not a rush during Hurricane season to get cleared and the vegetation is not butchered but well manicured.

    By having clearing crews in addition we do not have to use the agent orange type defoliant that is currently being used on road sides leaving everything dead and ugly in it’s path.
    There does not seem to be much concern that this stuff has on the environment,polluting the ground water, rain run off washing poisons into the ocean,wildlife such as birds,frogs,etc exposed to these poisons.
    Domestic animals exposed to them as well and who knows may be contributing to cancers in people.
    Stop using these poisons.

  12. Oh,I see now says:

    Are we saving money on curb side work habour road looks terrible,in fact all around Bermuda looks bad hurry up 2017 so we can see some improvements.Looks as if we need to mention AC to get things done around here now.The only thing the OBA have to flaunt is this sailing race without it they are dead in the water.With all the money and concessions afforded this competition and the people that go along with it I pray it pays dividends for Bermuda long after the show is over.

  13. thomas says:

    1. The foreman should be writing the bill and a copy goes in the property mail boxes all homes should have.
    2. Link fines for foliage clean up by works and E to tcd. Don’t pay bill don’t get to license car.
    3. Don’t worry about street sweeping on highways and give those guys cutting tools instead. U sweep up what u cut anyway .

  14. DWEP says:

    I do hope Parks Services is included in this clean up as the railway trail is often overlooked even though many parts of the trail run along or through residential areas and are in bad condition. Bulkhead Drive section is one example of a neglected strip of trail that need serious attention. I am sure there are others so I do hope there is a plan for a co-ordinated effort!

  15. Cut back says:

    How about riddles bay road which has been reported to parks 3 times! I did notice the yard in the condos is well kept but then they don’t drive past their overgrown disgrace to enter the property, more to the point parks need to get off their a** and respond to complaints by the public

  16. SoFar Bie says:

    I agree with Thomas on the point of those owning property near the road with overhanging foliage should get a bill if government cut their hedges, if it was me I wouldn’t cut it nice I’ll butcher up to teach them a lesson to keep their trees trimmed, and by the way I thought trees had to be cut six feet from the road any way.

  17. Shredded says:

    This is a warning that completely incompetent government managers will be supervising ever more destruction of Bermudas roadsides and natural beauty

  18. cloud nine says:

    My friend Joe Malookacui puts mirical grow in his well to help his grass group greener…

  19. john galt says:

    i would like to know when W&E is gonna stop spraying monsanto agent orange roundup all over the roadsides