San Bernardino, CA, August 6, 2010, 8:05am  – The San Bernardino National Forest has awarded contracts to remove Spanish Broom along State Route 18 between Crestline and San Bernardino to create jobs and improve safety for the motoring public.  The $508, 000-dollar project is part of the USDA’s role in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.  The Project is planned to begin Monday August 16, along State Route 18, starting between Lake Gregory Drive and State Route 138. Forest officials anticipate completion of the roadside work by the end of September.  Spanish Broom is a hardy invasive shrub, which can grow up to 15 feet tall that has long stalks with yellow flowers.  This plant re-sprouts after cutting and burning and re-establishes quickly after disturbances such as road maintenance and wildfires. It is rated and managed by the California Department of Food and Agriculture as a noxious weed.  The contractor will cut and remove Spanish Broom and hand apply “Aquamaster” herbicide to prevent re-growth.  All state and federal regulations will be followed to protect workers, the public, water quality and the environment.  Low growing native vegetation will also be re-established in priority locations.  Safety along the mountain highway evacuation route is compromised because Spanish broom plants encroach into the roadway and reduce road width, block the line of sight reducing visibility and obscure signing.  It also grows within cracks in the asphalt and destabilizes guardrails.