Supervisors debate detour dust control

At their May 12 meeting, the Wright County Supervisors debated providing financial support for dust control on gravel roads near to C-70 detour route around the French Church Bridge construction. While official detour routes run on paved roads, drivers knowledgeable of the area commonly take gravel roads to shorten their trip.  The official C-70 detour route decreased from 20 miles to 8 on May 5, following completion of other construction in Hamilton County. 

Supervisor Rick Rasmussen brought area residents’ concerns before the group and proposed providing defined, limited support along the affected gravel roads. Supervisor Stan Watne and Engineer Adam Clemons argued that support would be problematic if it was not applied equally across the county. Supervisor Karl Helgevold asked Clemons to price setting up a traffic counter. Clemons noted that a DNR regulation that expired in 2011 had required dust control if traffic exceeded 30 vehicles an hour, a rate which the affected roads would likely not meet except possibly at peak morning and evening hours.

Karl: “They’ve done nothing wrong,” Helgevold argued in support of the residents.

“We haven’t either,” Watne said, suggesting that it was not necessarily the County’s responsibility to cover costs.

“We’re making a better road in the long run,” stated Clemons of the support that road improvement provides, who also emphasized he was not necessarily against providing support, but such support needed to be provided equally.

Dust control spray draws moisture from the air and directs it toward the ground. According to Clemons, it has no adverse environmental effects, unlike older methods of dousing roads with motor oil which are presently prohibited under EPA regulations.

In our May 15 issue, read more about the May 12 Supervisors and local school board meetings, and the discussions that happened within on social service changes, brush control efforts, new dehumidifiers, and a potential purchaser for the Dows school building!