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News Release

April. 22, 2009



Minnesota Department of Transportation
501 S. Victory Drive
Mankato, MN 56001

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Adopt a Highway volunteers spring into action; Mn/DOT applauds their efforts


MANKATO, Minn. - Now that spring has arrived, thousands of Adopt a Highway volunteers across Minnesota are helping to beautify roadsides and save taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars in litter removal costs.

National Volunteer Week is April 19 - 25 and the Minnesota Department of Transportation wants to thank its many volunteers for making a difference in their communities.

The Minnesota Department of Transportation extends its thanks to the dedicated volunteers and their organizations who participate in the Adopt a Highway program," said Jim Swanson, Mn/DOT District 7 Engineer. "Their collective efforts benefit our state by keeping our roadsides attractive and giving visitors a positive impression as they travel our highways."

In south central Minnesota, there are 435 active community organizations cleaning along side state highways throughout Blue Earth, Brown, Cottonwood, Faribault, Jackson, LeSueur, Martin, Nicollet, Nobles, Rock, Sibley, Waseca and Watonwan counties.

Adopt a Highway community organizations agree to:
• Adopt a state highway for a minimum of two years
• Select a segment of highway approximately two miles in length
• Pick up litter as often as needed, spring through fall, usually two to three times a year
• Remove roadside debris on both sides of a highway
• Notify Mn/DOT after every pickup

To ensure the volunteer's safety, the Federal Highway Administration has a new safety standard requiring a high visibility ANSI Class 2 safety garment for all workers performing tasks on highway rights of way. All participants must wear the new safety vest; previous orange vests are being replaced by Mn/DOT. In addition, Mn/DOT provides safety training materials and trash bags.

Mn/DOT maintenance staff will pick up filled trash bags from the roadsides and remove large, heavy or hazardous items. For safety reasons, volunteers do not pick up hazardous materials and are instructed to report the location of these items to the nearest Mn/DOT office. Volunteer groups are encouraged to recycle any materials they find.

Mn/DOT asks motorists to drive with extra caution and care when coming upon volunteers picking up roadside debris.

To participate in the Mn/DOT's Adopt a Highway program, log on to http://www.dot.state.mn.us/adopt or call a Mn/DOT district office. In south central Minnesota, contact Anita Perrizo in Windom at 1-800-804-3295 or 507-831-8002.






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