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home : cass county news : cass county news
October 22, 2018

2/11/2018 11:30:00 AM
Detours set for summer Highway 371 roadwork
Cass County Correspondent

WALKER-The Cass County Board voted Tuesday to permit the Minnesota Department of Transportation to use County Highway 40 as part of a detour during resurfacing on Highway 371 from Hackensack to Backus this summer.

County Engineer Darrick Anderson said he expects MnDOT's payment to the county for added wear and tear on County Highway 40 during its use as a detour route to be under $12,000.

The county will videotape the road before and after the detour. If there are significant potholes, Anderson said, the county will try to get a higher reimbursement or to have MnDOT provide an overlay for damaged areas.

The state project will involve full-depth reclamation of pavement on Highway 371 from Highway 87 at Backus to 500 feet north of County Highway 40 on the south end of Hackensack. Anderson told the board he has not received notice yet of when the work will be done. The detour will route north-south traffic from Highway 371 west to Highway 64.

Three roads were removed from the county's 2018 road construction list.

Anderson reported a close inspection of County Road 124 showed the pavement does not need an overlay at this time. He estimated pavement in its current condition could last another 10 years before meeting criteria for overlay.

County Highway 50 was removed from this year's list, because resurfacing work will be done with County Highway 37, which is scheduled for 2022.

No work will be done on County Highway 62, because county highway officials learned the city of Walker's plans to extend the city's airport runway have that extension going across the highway. It could become a dead-end road if the city completes its plan, Anderson told the county board.

At a minimum, it would be rerouted, he said.

Projects still on schedule for 2018 county road construction include county highways 12, 36, 61, 62 and 66 and a bridge replacement on County Road 129 in Inguadona Township.

The county highway department invited township and city officials to a 3-5 p.m. meeting either March 6 at Sylvan Town Hall, 12956 24th Ave. SW., Pillager, or March 7 at Cass County Land Department, 218 Washburn Ave. E., Backus.

The county will present ways local governments can possibly save money by bidding their road construction, calcium chloride, lane striping, gravel crushing or noxious weed control projects with the county.

Also to be discussed at these meetings will be ways towns and cities can apply for state park road money and state local road improvement money with county sponsorship.

The county commissioners voted to support local area coordinated efforts to advance MnDOT funding to expand from two lanes to four lanes state highways 210 from Baxter to Motley and 371 from Jenkins to Pine River.

Anderson won board approval to engage Braun Intertec of Hibbing to do an environmental study of the site for the planned county highway garage at Longville for $6,897. Some contaminated material has been identified about 8 feet under the soil surface at the site, he said.

The study will determine what the material is and what it would take to remediate it. The county has owned the property on County Highway 54 for more than 30 years, he said, so would be responsible if the material had to be removed and replace.

Depending on the results of the study, it could prove more cost effective to move to a different site, Anderson said.

The board also approved hiring Mechanical Design Inc. of Fargo, N.D., to design the plumbing and heating and cooling system for the Longville garage for $7,500 and Lucachick Architecture Inc. of Fargo to design the building for $10,000.

The building will be designed to house not only county highway equipment kept at Longville, but also Longville Ambulance Service and possibly a stall for sheriff's department use.

The board approved the county's Americans with Disabilities Act Transition Plan, which outlines changes the county plans to make over the next 20 years to become fully compliant with that federal act.

It includes making handicapped ramps to all county-owned buildings and ramps at street corners to connect roads to sidewalks for wheelchair use, removing obstructive curbs.

"I just want to be sure we do as much as we can as soon as we can," Commissioner Neal Gaalswyk said.

Anderson said the county can begin by first improving sites where only sidewalks are involved. However, where road elevations have to be changed to more closely match sidewalk elevations, it will take a phased program to be done as the roads are resurfaced, he said, to keep from driving costs higher.

By doing these changes in phases, Anderson said the cost for the entire county likely still will hit $1 million.

The county added a bridge on County Road 107 to its list of bridges in need of repair as soon as funding is available.

The commissioners authorized the highway department to sponsor the installation of a pedestrian bridge over the Leech River at Federal Dam, adjacent to a highway bridge, and agreed the county would be responsible for its maintenance once it is built.

Anderson obtained board approval to revise his 2018 new equipment purchase list. This drops the cost from $935,380 to $820,565.

The highway department is now using repurposed trucks from other departments and its own operation instead of buying new pickups for office use when they are available. They also decided against buying a brush mower, a tractor and an injection pavement patcher.

Instead, they will buy three attachments for the county's skid-steer machines and do more patching overlays rather than injection patching.

The U.S. Forest Service will reimburse Cass County $6,040.32 to have 14.3 miles double-solid center-line striped this summer on Norway Beach Lane, West Winnie Road, Third River Road and Stony Point Campground Road. They also will pay the county $506.88 to have 2.4 miles of single-lane center striping at seven campground and boat landing access roads within the Chippewa Forest.

Anderson obtained board approval to attend the National Association of County Engineers conference in Wisconsin Dells in April.

Second publication rights after Brainerd Dispatch.

Bill Hansen Realty

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