FDOT to spend $500K to re-sod 15-mile stretch of SR 44

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LAKE COUNTY, Fla. - Some Lake County residents said the state is wasting half a million dollars to re-sod the shoulder of a road that doesn't need it.

Florida Department of Transportation is planting grass along a 15-mile stretch of State Road 44, starting at County Road 437.

WFTV's Berndt Petersen learned FDOT officials said the sod is a safety issue and it's used to prevent accidents.

After long careers in the Navy and Postal Service, Sam Musgrove said he knows a waste of taxpayers' money when he sees it.

"My first thought was 'an awful lot of money spent for no gain,'" said Musgrove.

"You've got to think of the road as extending out over those shoulders. Just like the road, the shoulder is part of the roadway," said Steve Olson, with FDOT.

Olson said it is regularly scheduled repair because the asphalt shoulders are so narrow; the grass needs to be in better shape for safety's sake in case a driver strays off the pavement.

"But if there's a substantial drop-off between the pavement and the grass, or it's rutted or eroded, that complicates things," said Olson.

But Musgrove insists it makes no sense to re-sod areas that already had perfectly good grass. He said in some spots, sections more than 20 feet wide were torn out. With a background in farming as well, Musgrove said he could have saved taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars.

"It seems to me the common-sense thing to do is put some dirt on top of it and the grass will come up right back through. They took out quality grass to put this in," said Musgrove.

FDOT said to be efficient it's smarter to replace entire sections than coming in and fixing one section and here another section there.