Winter’s unique personality requires everyone’s patience

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Another winter has shaped its own unique personality here in Bonner County and the recent snow events have stretched the road department relatively thin — both in manpower and our equipment.

Bonner County Road & Bridge is fortunate to be generally well equipped to deal with the peculiar anomalies of winter storms, but some of our plow rigs have been in service for quite a number of winters and pick very inconvenient times to be problematic.

Bonner County residents are quite fortunate to have the services of such a responsive, resolute road crew that regularly begin an arduous day at 3 or 4 a.m. to combat extremely challenging conditions.

This winter has produced numerous frustrations for rural residents on our county roads, including mailboxes suffering damage from plowed snow.

I will state this once again, “Bonner County operators do not intentionally inflict damages on mailboxes.”

Speaking of mailboxes, we strongly encourage people to check your mailboxes at the end of summer — if you can wiggle your framing just a little bit, there is a good chance a plowed snow wave can take it down.

Please try to remember, mailboxes in county road rights of way are a courtesy extended to homeowners, not a private property right exceeding the need to maintain the road.

Other frustrations about to be experienced quite soon, will be cutting the snow berms down along the road edge and filling driveways with snow. We need to wing the snow banks back with a grader and invariably, the excess falls into open driveways causing aggravation to homeowners. Then the grader will return and cut the snow floor that builds up on the road surface in heavier snow falls, plugging the same driveway all over again. If that snow floor is not removed now, the first warmer days and a little rain will make these roads quickly impassable.

Potholes have been a source of frustration for many drivers on numerous county roads judging by the volume of discussions we have had on the phones here in the office.

To be honest, it is very frustrating for the Road Department when we cannot prepare roads for winter because of wet fall weather.

If you think a road is rough in your automobile, you should try operating one of our heavy trucks with a plow on the front of it. Our whole crew is interested in doing what we can to remove potholes absolutely as soon as we can.

Please be patient, spring is around the corner, but none of us know how long that corner is.

Steve Klatt is director Bonner County Road & Bridge. He can be reached at 1500 Highway 2, Suite 101, Sandpoint; by phone, 208-255.5681, ext. 1; by fax at 208-263-9084; or by email at

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