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Letter to the Editor


To the Editor:

Darrin Fellbaum, county engineer, presented a five year road plan to the board on August 9.

Wadena County has 221 miles of CSAH roads. These are roads where the county receives state aid to help with the costs of maintenance and construction. They are all tar except for 14.3 miles of gravel roads. Those being #10, #19 and #15. These are heavier traffic roads and are required to have different standards of maintenance.

Wadena County has 215 miles of regular county roads. These receive no state aid or gas tax. They are kept up out of the county levy and a 1/2% county sales tax. These are all gravel except 52 miles of tar. Some of the 52 miles are a long term problem. Many were poorly constructed many years ago when asphalt was cheap and have cost millions to resurface over decades only to break up and need more attention.

Many are very short and the reasons they were originally tarred is the subject of much speculation.

Whereas a gravel road can be graveled for around $20 to $25K per mile and a band aid applied to some of these 52 miles of tar can cost $230K/mile plus. A real long term solution would cost significantly more. Solutions need to be discussed.

But there are good things in the plan. Keep in mind that the plan can change but most of the things on the 2022 plan will be completed this year. On the five year plan is #18 north of Nimrod, #7 South from Oylyn, a large portion of #23, #133 in Sebeka, #101 near Wadena, #112 SE of Verdale and #164 east of Blue Grass are scheduled for some overlay project work. And 20 miles of gravel roads will receive gravel as a target each year.

This year (2022) these roads will be graveled: CSAH 115 and 119; County Roads 153, 154, 155 and one mile of 135 for a total of 19 miles. Also 131 and 134 west of Sebeka were aggressively shaped up and both are on a five year gravel plan.

Work and projects look to be spread fairly around the county. I and the board were pleased by the plan presented and the work done by the highway department.

Murlyn Kreklau

District 4 Commissioner


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