Heavy rain causes BIG headaches for county roads
“The July 3 rain, was a heck of a rain,” said Lyon County Highway Engineer Aaron VanMoer.
“It’s unbelievable how this happens at least once every year,” he said.
“It really is difficult to figure out what to do about funding with federal and state roads,” said VanMoer.
Due to the heavy rain, damages were done on several county roads. Various county roads suffered damages.
VanMoer talked about culvert damage, pavement failures and washouts.
“This is a list of our major sites,” VanMoer said.
He listed programs he felt the county was eligible for and said the county’s damage estimate was at about $343,000. A mile and a half south of County Road 23, a culvert gave out.
“The road could have fallen in, but it didn’t,” said VanMoer.
“We dug the road out and put a new pipe in and got the road opened up,” he said.
The cost of repair was about $35,000. Another big washout occurred on County Road 19 west of Marshall. The estimated cost of repair was $60,000. “We took the culvert out and put in a new ground pipe and got this road open,” said VanMoer.
Another washout on County Road 5 caused damage at an estimated cost of $3,000. In Lynd, County Road 5 had “pavement fall through,” said VanMoer.
It caused a hole in the pavement that had to be dug up and repaired at a cost of $5,000. “Down in Tracy (County Road 29), at the Junction of 10 and 23, had a section of land under the road give way.
North of Tracy on County Road 11, a walk-through culvert caused problems. Between US 14 and County Road Two, culvert problems caused between $120,000 to $750,000 worth of damage.” Timbers, concrete and stone on this road gave away.
”Now the question is, do we replace them with timbers again?” asked VanMoer. “I don’t know what kind of funding we can get,” said the county engineer.
“We’re getting an estimate on how much it will cost,” he said, estimating $150,000 a culvert, or more to fix the area. County Road 74, east of County Road 5 suffered about $50,000 worth of damage when land eroded above a steel culvert.
“This project may be FEMA eligible, depending on how much they will replace. Another option would be to take our salvage concrete and replace it with one single line of concrete pipe,” said VanMoer.
“The $50,000 estimate would be to take it out and replace it with our own culvert,” he said.
Another washout occurred on County Road 60, east of County Road 23 near Russell. “The earth was saturated,” according to VanMoer. Another $20,000 is estimated as the cost of repair.
“The best way would be to replace the culvert with new pipe,” related VanMoer.
Northeast of Ghent on County Road 65, a pipe separated. “We replaced the culvert,” said VanMoer. Cost is about $20,000. On County Road 63 near Balaton, a culvert collapsed and two culverts had to be combined to make one. The cost again was about $20,000. “These are the major ones.”
He estimated staff costs at $23,000 for county labor, county equipment at $39,000 and gravel at $13,000. “It made a lot of extra work for everybody,” said VanMoer.
County levy .... The Lyon County Board Adopted the 2019 levy at a proposed increase of 2.728 percent over the 2018 certified levy.
The levy must be certified by the end of September. This is the initial proposal and the board will continue to discuss the levy increase in the coming weeks.
County Administrator Loren Stomberg explained initial changes in the budget from last year and indicated there are three more meetings before the budget levy must be certified.
At this time, Stomberg said the cost of the insurance premiums are not known and that will impact the budget. At this time, the budget is set at $14,856,531 compared to $14,462,011 in 2017.
That’s an increase of $394,520 over the past year.