Spring brings challenges for county’s roads

Print Article

Steve Klatt

For those of us who live and drive on rural Bonner County roads, this is an interesting season of weight limits, potholes and mud, soon to be followed by dust. For the Bonner County Road & Bridge Department, springtime is uniquely distinctive because we are converting trucks from snowplows back to dump trucks while keeping an eye open for the unexpected spring snowstorm. Operators are out on graders smoothing out winter’s potholes and leveling gravel surfaces as roads dry out and the rains cooperate.

The road crew really scrambles to complete the initial round of grading amidst spring rainstorms before roads are ready to apply dust abatement. Bonner County applies magnesium chloride to 390 miles of gravel roads, including roads that may receive a second shot because of high daily traffic counts. Finding suitable conditions over numerous days required for grading and application is almost impossible many years — the magnesium chloride needs moisture in the roadbed to be effective, but if it is too moist, the magnesium chases the moisture down from the surface and if it is too dry, the magnesium binds with gravel very ineffectively. When we have the misfortune of equipment breakdowns, the whole process is seriously challenged.

North of Sandpoint, crews will begin spreading a gravel overlay throughout the Center Valley and Upper Gold Creek areas when the load limits are lifted. Crews in Sagle will be focused on gathering and cleaning up the snow carnage from November on Lakeshore, Bottle Bay and Sagle roads before starting a major roadside ditching and brushing effort on Sagle Road. Priest River crews will be improving Carr Creek Road, reopening the closure of Eastriver Road, and doing significant culvert replacements on Peninsula Road before heading north to resurface Granite Creek Marina and Reeder Creek roads.

The most noticeable and aggravating project in our road system will be the rebuild and closure of the Bottle Bay Road intersection with Highway 95 beginning in May and carrying through much of the summer. There will be a bridge project on Eastriver Road that will impact, but not stop traffic this summer. Two large culvert projects will have short-term closures on Eastside and Evergreen roads during the summer. Once again, your Bonner County Road and Bridge crews will be quite productively engaged for the spring and summer.

Steve Klatt is the director of Bonner County Road and Bridge.

Print Article

Read More Editorial

Criticism of road priorities misses mark

August 12, 2018 at 5:00 am | Bonner County Daily Bee Several recent letters to the editor have presented personal perspectives that stray a bit from the details I see as the Director of Road & Bridge. Granted, I have had this desk only for the pa...

Comments

Read More

Backing collaborative forest management

July 26, 2018 at 5:00 am | Bonner County Daily Bee The U.S. Forest Service reports that between 2010 and 2016, Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Program projects resulted in the treatment of more than 2.4 million acres to reduce the risk of ...

Comments

Read More

Freeing the engines of our communities

July 15, 2018 at 5:00 am | Bonner County Daily Bee I often think about the Americans in communities across this nation who have sat at their desks well into the night trying to make sure they filed necessary paperwork and kept up to date on federal r...

Comments

Read More

Celebrating country’s shared independence

July 05, 2018 at 5:00 am | Bonner County Daily Bee On the Fourth of July, we celebrate independence — the heart of Americanism. Our shared responsibility to safeguard our independence serves as a unifying force. Our form of government has withstood ...

Comments

Read More

Contact Us

(208) 263-9534
PO Box 159
Sandpoint, ID 83864

©2018 Bonner County Daily Bee Terms of Use Privacy Policy
X