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Roadside Brushing

The Town of Gravenhurst, similar to other municipalities that are comprised of a large rural catchment area, engage in an annual “brushing” program. The ‘brushing’ program typically commences in June of each year and terminates in the fall.

The Town of Gravenhurst is responsible to ensure that its publicly traveled roadways and roadside allowances are in a safe condition for all potential users. This requires that its municipal roadways and intersections are cleared of obstructions and fouling so as to provide the following benefits:

  • Improved Site Lines
  • Adequate Overhead Clearances for Larger Vehicles
  • Roadside Clearances for Road Maintenance Equipment
  • Sufficient Snow Storage Areas

The intent of the Town’s brushing program is to clear the Town’s road allowances of all brush, shrubs, small trees, large trees and overhanging tree canopy that address any or all of the above noted improvements.

Staff acknowledges the sensitive nature of the public in regards to some brush removal methods (mechanical brusher-cutter) and further acknowledge that it may look unsightly immediately after a brushing program.  Notwithstanding the purpose of the program, the impacted areas naturally and quickly regenerate. The picture below shows a municipal road (Sparrow Route D) after one year that was brushed, demonstrating a healthy regeneration of the impacted area, but still maintaining the intent of the brushing program.

 The Town’s brushing maintenance program is set annually,  through the Department of Infrastructure Services, Operation's Division.

Foliage at the side of the road

For the 2024 season, and as resources permit,  the Town has identified the following roads or road segments to be brushed.

  • Taverner Rd - (TCP Trail)
  • Sunny Lake Rd
  • Tomingas Rd
  • Barkway Rd
  • Seehaver Rd
  • Bens Lake Rd
  • Merkley Rd
  • Hopkins Rd
  • Frank Cooper Trail
  • Riley Lake Rd
  • Witbeck Rd
  • Fredrick Ln
  • Nora Ln

Roads are primarily identified through site inspections by the Roads Foreman as well as Public Works Operators conducting winter maintenance.  The Operation’s team typically aim to conduct 20 to 25 km of roadside brushing each year.

Brushing is typically conducted using a mechanical brusher (with monger head) and chainsaws. The Town will brush at minimum to the back of the ditch line, but may extend further in (though still within the municipal road allowance) depending on site lines and the condition of trees / shrubs.

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