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TO AMEND SECTION 57-23-800, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO THE DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION'S MANAGEMENT OF VEGETATION ALONG INTERSTATE HIGHWAY MEDIANS, ROADSIDES, AND INTERCHANGES, SO AS TO PROVIDE THAT THE DEPARTMENT MAY UNDERTAKE THIS ACTIVITY AT ITS DISCRETION AFTER CONSULTING THE LOCAL GOVERNMENTAL AUTHORITY THAT HAS JURISDICTION OVER THE PORTION OF HIGHWAY SUBJECT TO THE VEGETATION MANAGEMENT PROJECT.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:
SECTION 1. Section 57-23-800 of the 1976 Code, as added by Act 17 of 1999 is amended to read:
(A) The Department of Transportation shall conduct vegetation management of the medians, roadsides, and interchanges along the interstate highway system in accordance with the following requirements: at its discretion. However, before it implements a project pursuant to this section, the department must consult with the local governmental authority that has jurisdiction over the portion of highway subject to the vegetation management project.
(1) a median of not more than sixty feet in width shall have its mowable area mowed in its entirety. A median wider than sixty feet shall only be mowed within thirty feet from the edges of the pavement.
(2) a roadside shall be mowed thirty feet from the edge of the pavement. If fill slopes or back slopes are steep, one swath of the mower or not less than five feet shall be mowed on these slopes.
(3) an interchange shall be mowed in the same manner as a roadside, provided that the distance from the pavement required to be mowed may be increased to address any safety concerns involved.
(B) The mowing widths provided in subsection (A) may be increased when necessary to provide adequate visibility for signs erected by the department.
(C) The vegetation management activities conducted by the department shall not interfere in any way with the visibility of any outdoor advertising sign.
(D) If the Department of Natural Resources makes an assessment and written determination that vegetation management pursuant to this section causes an increase in safety risks because of the attraction of wildlife to a specific area along the highway, then the department may increase the distance from the pavement required to be mowed."
SECTION 2. This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor.
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