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Supervisors Discuss Several Road Projects

March 8, 2018
by Anesa McGregor , Emmetsburg News

Several road projects and the weight embargos for spring were just a couple of the items discussed by the Palo Alto County Board of Supervisors during their regular meeting on Tuesday, March 6.

Palo Alto County Engineer Walter Davis-Oeth was on hand to present the Supervisors with road projects for the coming season.

The first project, L-P-1901-73-74 was for the N26/B25 reconstruction. This is a seven and a half mile stretch of road that has an estimated cost of $6,540,000 about $825,000 per mile. Bid letting for this project is scheduled for Tuesday, March 27. Unanimous approval was given.

Article Photos

Palo Alto County
Temporary Road Embargo Map

The second project, L-P-1802-73-74 is for the resurfacing of Old Highway 18 with some sewer work to be done. Estimated cost for the project is $233,000. Bid letting is scheduled for Tuesday, April 3.

The final project, L-B(S87)-1801-73-74, is a bridge deck overlay one and a half miles east of Ayrshire. Estimated cost is $84,000 with Bid letting scheduled for Tuesday, April 3.

Discussion on the upcoming Spring Weight Embargo on specific roads in Palo Alto County was attended by three area farmers Greg Garrelts, Doug Williamson and Roger Williamson.

"I do look at requests for special permits to use the embargoed roads," Davis-Oeth stated. "But there generally has to be an unreasonable hardship for me to grant a permit."

"That is a pretty broad policy," Garrelts said. "You should be able to come up with a policy that is a little more defined. I'm looking for an option for me if I need it. I think I hurt the county far less driving three miles of pavement either way versus driving six miles of gravel."

Garrelts continued by stating that they would like to be able to work with the county toward a solution should the embargoed road need to be used.

"I generally lean toward the stricter side when looking at individual situations," Davis-Oeth explained.

"We're willing to go slow," Roger Williamson said. "We're just looking for a little help."

"If they reduce their speed, does that help?" Supervisor Craig Merrill asked.

"Somewhat. An 80,000-pound truck will still be 80,000 pounds," Davis-Oeth replied. "It will still bounce and have a negative impact although less."

"I think we will have to take a look at each individual situation," Roger Williamson stated.

"We need to leave it with Walter and let him make the decision," Supervisor Linus Solberg stated.

"Every farmer will have their own unique set of circumstances," Davis-Oeth noted. "So, to have a policy would be extremely hard to create."

Be sure to be aware that the Spring Weight Embargo will be happening soon. Currently, there are 13 sections of highway that will be under the embargo and could last up to three weeks.

In other business, the Supervisors unanimously agreed to increase the wage for election workers from $8.00 per hour to $9.00 per hour with $.50 per mile for mileage.

On a final note, on Tuesday, Apr. 3, there will be a special election in Graettinger and Terril. They will be voting on a school bond.



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