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Webster Co. supervisors discuss snow removal

Unplowed roads list sees revisions

October 31, 2012
By EMILIE NELSON-JENSON ( , Messenger News

The Webster County Board of Supervisors revised a list of unpaved roads to be designated as non-snow removal this winter during their meeting Tuesday morning.

The list of 71 roads was approved with the exception of one section of 150th Street south of Vincent in Newark Township, which was taken of the list for emergency access purposes.

Supervisor Keith Dencklau said a resident of the lone farm on the section of road had expressed his concern about not removing snow in case an emergency should arise.

"You would need that road for emergency purposes," said Dencklau. "The farmer living in that area had concern because it is the only way out of Vincent from the west without going around and having a railroad crossing or having to go in from the south."

Webster County Engineer Randy Will said a safety issue could arise if the size of snow removal or emergency vehicles exceeds the newly set weight limit of 10 tons on a bridge that crosses the section of road.

"The bridge is 15 ton," Will said. "But it is set to go down to 10 tons. You would be able to drive something 10 tons or less on that mile."

Will said that part of the purpose of not removing snow on the roads that are not regularly traveled is to reduce maintenance costs and improve the service on other roads.

"We have saved several hours of labor and equipment operation," said Will. "If you get a firetruck of something that is over the 10 ton limit it shouldn't legally go over it. By not having to plow that 70 miles of roads there is a savings there."

Will added that the majority of Webster County's snow removal vehicles exceed the weight limit for the bridge on 150th Street.

"Sometimes you would just have to go over it with a lighter vehicle," said Dencklau. "Sometimes you have no alternative."

While there are other ways to access the property, it could take away minutes from emergency responders.

"We also don't know when someone may have a life or death situation where those extra few minutes would really matter," said board Chairman Bob Singer. "Iowa is almost at the bottom of the nation for condition of bridges and unless we can get funds that will go to the DOT, the state and the county, they will continue to deteriorate."



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