Roadway Maintenance Environmental Oversight

Roadway Maintenance thumbnail

How does ALDOT
maintain its many roadways
with the environment in mind?

ALDOT evaluates roadway conditions that may affect the environment and smartly deploys resources to address any issues.

ALDOT conducts its roadway maintenance activities in ways that are intended to reduce the potential for negative environmental side-effects.

Assessing & Addressing ALDOT Roadway Maintenance Needs

The conditions of ALDOT roadways are assessed annually in order to deploy maintenance resources to account for the maintenance needs of specific areas. A sample of ALDOT roads in each of ALDOT’s districts throughout Alabama is evaluated according to an array of parameters. Some of these parameters are environmental in nature, relating to the presence of litter, the presence of erosion, the presence of undesirable and excessive vegetation, and drainage functionality. The methods ALDOT uses to assess its roadways are explained in Level of Service Condition Assessments: Data Collection Manual.

When maintenance is conducted on a roadway, it is done in accordance with the current ALDOT Maintenance Performance Guidelines. Maintenance activities that have environmental implications include litter pickup (activity codes 6300 and 6301), erosion control (code 6280), herbicide treatment and surveillance (codes 6260, 6262, and 6310), drainage improvements (codes 6160, 6170, 6180, 6190, and 6580), and snow and ice control (code 6650). These activities are carried out in ways that reduce the potential for adverse environmental impacts.

ALDOT aims to promote vegetation on its roadways where appropriate. However, some species of vegetation are less desirable than others and, therefore, should be controlled so that desired vegetation can flourish. ALDOT’s Roadside Vegetation Management Manual discusses the methods ALDOT uses to promote proper vegetation.

Herbicide is used to prevent and control undesirable vegetation. It is applied efficiently (e.g., by precise, computer-controlled release) in part to reduce the possible adverse environmental side-effects associated with herbicide application. Herbicide application is regulated by the ADEM-issued Pesticide General Permit and, specifically for ALDOT, by ALDOT’s Pesticide Discharge Management Plan.

ALDOT provides robust vegetation management training for both ALDOT employees and parties beyond ALDOT (e.g., municipality employees, county representatives). The training is provided in multiple sessions offered annually; those interested in participating in the training should consult the latest upcoming training schedule.

ALDOT also publishes a vegetation management training newsletter multiple times annually. Please review the latest issue of the newsletter.

Non-ALDOT parties wishing to perform work on ALDOT’s right-of-way (ROW) must seek authorization from ALDOT first. The links below are to permit forms for third-part work activities related to some degree to environmental management:

MB-05: “Grading & Landscaping”
MB-06: “Cooperative Maintenance - ROW Mowing”
MB-06A: “Cooperative Maintenance - ROW Structures”
MB-06B: “Cooperative Maintenance - ROW Mowing with Reimbursement”
MB-07: “Installation of Drainage Structures”
MB-11: “Utility Placement of Herbicide on ROW”
MB-12: “Underbrush and Tree Trimming”

General information about third-party permitting is provided in the ALDOT Permit Manual.

To learn more about other ALDOT environmental activities, visit ALDOT’s Environmental Information page. For questions pertaining to the Roadway Maintenance Environmental Oversight Program email Paul Carter, PE at or call 334.242.6624.