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County to spend $17.3 million to fix road

Posted 3/14/12 (Wed)

By Lauren Billing
Farmer Staff Writer

The McKenzie County Commissioners have just approved an award of $17.3 million to make badly needed repairs to County Road 10. With oil traffic following wells no matter what the adjoining roads are able to support, there are many roads around the county with severe damage.
County Road 10 runs between Highways 1806 and 23 just north of Keene. Currently, it is playing host to more traffic than it was ever designed to handle. The paved road is currently able to support loads of up to six tons per axle, which is far below what state laws allow semi-trucks to carry per load. With so many semi-trucks trying to use the road despite its haggardness, McKenzie County has been looking at construction options for a while.
“It’s something we’ve been planning on,” says Dale Patten, McKenzie County commissioner. “We know the shape it’s been in. And with so many plans for drilling and development in that area we anticipate even more traffic. The infrastructure is definitely needed.”
The new road will be constructed to handle loads up to 105,500 pounds gross. The current road will first be completely torn up and salvaged and then earth work will be performed to bring the verticle alignment to today’s design standards. The salvaged road material will be placed with additional material on top of it to form the new base, according to Michael Greer, McKenzie County county engineer. Construction will include all 12.4 miles between Highways 1806 and 23, but the road will remain open during construction.
The plans call for 18 inches of gravel for the base with an additional six inches of pavement on top.
Border States Paving of Fargo won the bid for County Road 10, last Thursday, March 1. They will begin construction as soon as the weather allows and plan to have the road completed by Nov. 17.
“It’s going to be a major thoroughfare for oil traffic,” says Greer.
The project is funded by McKenzie County in conjunction with the County Oil Impact Fund. McKenzie County is responsible for 10 percent of the cost, about $1.8 million, while the Impact Fund will cover the remaining 90 percent.
In regard to more construction plans of this scope and cost, the county does not know how many more projects like this are to come.
“It will really depend on the availability of state funding,” says Patten. “We have a laundry list of things we want to get done, but we need more support from the state to see them finished.”