Gravels are treacherous
Thu, 03/14/2019 - 3:44pm admin
Marcie Klomp ~ News Editor firstname.lastname@example.org
Howard County - The Secondary Road Department has been busy this winter removing falling and blowing snow. Now that the weather has warmed up a bit, and the spring rains have started, they are in for even more hardships.
Howard County Engineer Nick Rissman said about the week, “We’ve went from drifting on Monday to icy on Wednesday and sloppy and flooding on Thursday. We’ve had everything except for dust!”
He added, “A significant number of roads have water over the road.” The gravel roads are the biggest concern at present, which he estimated hundreds of spots where water was running across. “Every single gravel road is sloppy and muddy.”
The engineer’s office contacted as many of the agricultural companies in the area they could and asked them to stay off the roads as much as possible. Many of those big vehicles can mess up a road . . . and that includes county equipment.
Rissman noted the office has had multiple calls from those living on gravel asking for rock. “Our equipment is large and heavy. To get to the bad spots, we’d make more bad spots.” He has heard from other counties that have put down rock that it is just disappearing in the road.
Howard County’s plan is to wait for the road to freeze, which generally takes place at night. “Then in the morning, we can shave off the ruts.”
Surprisingly, Rissman said the county’s winter budget is doing okay, thanks to a mild December and January. But it will take a hit when employees will start putting down rock.
“Rock is a significant line item,” the engineer said. “It’s about one-third of our budget.”
He advised locals to use their best judgement when traveling on the gravel roads until the county can get them repaired.