U.P. highway cleanup begins Saturday

From the Michigan Department of Transportation:

Motorists across Michigan and in the U.P. will need to be watchful this weekend as  volunteers participating in the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) Adopt-A-Highway program will begin picking up litter April 27 along state highways.

The pickup will continue until May 5 for northern lower Michigan, and until May 12 for the U.P. because of snow currently on the ground.

“Adopt-A-Highway volunteers take tremendous pride in keeping Michigan looking great,” said State Transportation Director Kirk T. Steudle. “During these challenging times as we all try to maintain our precious assets with fewer funds, we rely on these volunteers to help us show off our beautiful state. Please proceed with caution when you see the volunteers at work.”

In 2012, Adopt-A-Highway groups reported collecting about 65,000 bags of trash, a cost benefit to the state of $5.6 million. Volunteers wear high-visibility, yellow-green safety vests required by federal regulations when working within a highway’s right of way. MDOT provides the vests and trash bags for free, and arranges to haul away the trash.

Current volunteers include members of various civic groups, businesses and families. Crew members have to be at least 12 years old and each group must number at least three people.

Sections of highway are still available for adoption. Interested groups should check the MDOT Web page at www.michigan.gov/adoptahighway for more information. Groups are asked to adopt a section of highway for at least two years. There is no fee to participate. Adopt-A-Highway signs bearing a group’s name are posted along the stretches of adopted highway.

This year’s second Adopt-A-Highway pickup will be from July 13 to 21, followed by the final pickup from Sept. 21 to 29.