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Making Short work of keeping highways clean
Idaho State Journal
Sharon Short is helping the state keep its highways clean.
Short, a front desk worker at the regional Idaho Transportation Department office in Pocatello, spends most of her weekdays talking through a headset and answering phone calls, among other duties.
But she also volunteers her time by communicating with local groups that are interested in the Adopt-A-Highway program.
Adopt-A-Highway, which began in the 1980s, allows volunteers to engage in highway cleanup efforts throughout the state.
Short, who is the regional coordinator for Adopt-A-Highway, said groups taking part in the program are given a stretch of highway to clean. She speaks with those who are interested in the program and arranges a schedule and area for them to work on.
The program's participants include Monsanto, Simplot, Idaho State University, the Farm Bureau and the inmates from the Bannock County correctional facility.
"We got a variety of different groups to help," Short said, adding that there are between 40 and 60 volunteer groups taking part in the program.
And the available roads in Southeast Idaho include interstates 15 and 86, U.S. highways 30 and 91 and state highways 36, 39 and 40.
Short also coordinates work schedules for volunteers who want to clean up rest areas. However, she only organizes rest area cleanups during major holidays when there are many more drivers on the road.
Short became the program's coordinator in July. She said the program's efforts are a benefit for both ITD and the community.
"For ITD, it helps it keep the highways clean," Short said. "And I think it's a good community project for businesses who want to support themselves. It's good advertisement for them."