Now the grass is greener

After multiple complaints from motorists and nearby residents, Johnson County is working on a plan to maintain the medians along Whiteland Road.

The medians along Whiteland Road, west of State Road 135, were added when the road was widened years ago. Since then, residents, the Hickory Stick Homeowners Association and motorists have complained that the medians are overgrown and riddled with weeds.

The highway department would send workers out to mow the grass about once a month, but officials said that wasn’t enough.

Now, the county is looking to hire a company that can do the work for them to keep the medians looking well-kept.

Johnson County Commissioner Kevin Walls drives by the medians along Whiteland Road every day and notices the need for better upkeep. Now, he is leading the project to maintain those medians on a consistent basis.

The first step: ridding the medians of weeds and cutting the grass every two weeks, he said.

The county has sprayed the area with weed-killing chemicals and has been mowing it more, which has kept the length better than it was earlier this year.

“We have done some weed control, and we’re going to add some top soil in the fall,” Walls said. “I just want to keep it on a good maintenance schedule.”

Walls decided to reach out to landscaping and lawn care companies about taking over the routine maintenance of the medians. Two different lawn care and landscaping companies are talking with the county about taking over the project. The cost is not yet known, but the funding will likely come out of the highway budget, Walls said. Although the road is in Bargersville town limits, it is maintained by the Johnson County Highway Department.

“We’re going to get the medians on a good program,” Walls said. “Whatever we decide to do, I want to see it maintained.”

Earlier this summer the department received complaints about clippings all over the road after the county would cut the grass on the medians, but that was because grass was growing higher than usual due to abnormal rainfall amounts, Johnson County Highway Director Luke Mastin said.

The rainfall earlier in the summer also restricted the county from getting out to cut the grass along the medians, Mastin said.

“We mow it right now, and we have planted some grass seed. Once Commissioner Walls comes up with a game plan and narrows down some options, the highway department will become more involved,” Mastin said.

Corey Elliot is a reporter at the Daily Journal. He can be reached at or 317-736-2719.