Work continues on county road projects

Print Article

Overseeing a county road operation has some remarkable resemblance to surviving as a small farm operator. You take stock of the conditions in the spring, as mud squishes under your boots, then begin to make plans for strides forward during the warm months of summer. As summer ends, you take stock of the progress you made and realize that your harvest of work completed is not as large as expected ó equipment break downs, weather disturbances and work details taking longer than ever imagined.

This summer was no exception for Bonner County Road & Bridge, as we did not get a number of projects accomplished that we anticipated working on. Several of the projects we were working on ate our lunch for time because they required much more effort to complete properly than we projected. Hard to believe that road crews putting in beastly hours in the winter, actually want some time off in the summer or the medical procedures to put themselves back together from injuries. It has also been quite challenging to find suitable candidates to fill the vacancies in our crew.

Now that fall is upon us, we are scrambling our road graders to get roads smoothed back out from the summer assault and get our roads ready for winter. We are about to start brushing the Sagle Road again and do some work up on Baldy Mountain Road about a month later than we expected to, but we will get some work done on each. We are attempting to get some bridge repair done north of Priest River and guardrail installed up near Priest Lake, but are encountering delays in those projects, too. A number of gravel roads that we had on this yearís work plan are now on next yearís work plan, but they are still in our work plan.

While we hear from residents regularly about their desire to have roads paved, Bonner County believes we need to place primary focus on catching up on some of our basic road maintenance that has fallen behind. Ironically, it was commitments we had to put hard surface on two roads that ate our lunch for completing the maintenance work we intended to get done this summer. We applied mag chloride to some 200 miles of gravel road and we chip sealed nearly 40 miles of existing paved roads. The task we are most challenged by is establishing a sustainable ditching program with a predictable rotation throughout the road system.

We are working on safety features to improve several of our highway intersections and these have also gone a bit slower than we anticipated. A new streetlight has been installed at Algoma Spur and one will be added at Selle Road in the coming weeks. We are also about to get a contractor started on widening the Dufort Road intersection and adding another turn lane to accommodate northbound and southbound Highway 95 traffic. Road & Bridge has teamed up with several local engineers to begin working on some possible ideas for improving the Lakeshore Drive and Highway 95 bottleneck and garner an Idaho Transportation endorsement. This is a safety conundrum of significant proportions that is a state problem because it is a highway, but is of tremendous local importance. Getting this project to construction will take major doses of persistence and patience, but is worth the effort! Bonner County is committed to seeing improvements constructed.

Steve Klatt is director of the Bonner County Road & Bridge Department, 1500 Highway 2, Suite 101, Sandpoint. He can be reached by phone at 208-255-5681; ext. 1; by fax at 208-263-9084; or by email at steve.klatt@bonnercountyid.gov.

Print Article

Read More Letters to the Editor

Current trends, issues in Idaho lawmaking

January 19, 2020 at 5:00 am | Bonner County Daily Bee We are in our second week of the Idaho legislative session and the majority of our time has been spent reviewing proposed executive rules and regulations. I started to notice a trend several years a...

Comments

Read More

LPOSD levy do-over vote is needed

January 19, 2020 at 5:00 am | Bonner County Daily Bee What is the Lake Pend Oreille School District afraid of? Giving voters the complete and accurate information for the levy should be required. Not telling us that it will cost each property owner an a...

Comments

Read More

Itís not too late to help the senior center

January 19, 2020 at 5:00 am | Bonner County Daily Bee We want to thank all those in the community who helped with their donations to the Sandpoint Area Senior Center and DayBreak Center over the holiday season. We are so very appreciative of your help. ...

Comments

Read More

Planning progress for Sandpointís future

January 16, 2020 at 5:00 am | Bonner County Daily Bee If ever there is a time to have a direct impact on the future of your hometown, it is now. The city of Sandpoint is in the midst of six master planning efforts that will directly impact the future li...

Comments

Read More

Contact Us

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

©2020 Bonner County Daily Bee Terms of Use Privacy Policy
X