By ROBERT WOLF
DAKOTA CITY - The Humboldt County Board of Supervisors voted Monday to remove a bridge that has been closed for more than a year.
The bridge is located on 260th Street between Kentucky and Kansas avenues southwest of Humboldt.
"We found out we had problems with this bridge and closed it over a year ago," said Paul Jacobson, Humboldt County engineer.
The board determined repairing the bridge would not be an option.
"We would be throwing a lot of money at an obsolete, narrow, low-rated structure," Jacobson said.
The most recent traffic count found about 30 to 40 vehicles a day on the road. The count is enough for the bridge to be eligible for federal funds.
However to put it in the five-year plan, something else would have to be left out, according to Jacobson.
"To date we haven't bumped anything out of our five-year plan to put this in," he said.
Jacobson recommended sloping the road down to the creek level so if someone would go around the sign they would gradually enter the water rather than go airborne.
"We only have a temporary closure. All it takes is some wind to blow the barricades over and someone drives through it," he said.
Supervisor Carl Mattes asked about creating a low- water crossing at the site. Jacobson said he could potentially see that idea being used in the county but he was not in favor of it.
"We can't get people to read road closed signs. How do we tell them what level of water is safe to drive through?" he said.
Jacobson said if the county vacated that portion of the road, it would revert back to the adjacent landowner, who could still drive farm equipment through the creek.
"We are not going to get a pot of gold to maintain everything the way it was," Jaconson said. "I think some of our road system is going to be reduced. It has to be because we are going to continue to maintain an increased standard of care on some of our highway routes, snow removal and whatever, the public demands it here and now.
"What is the standard of care going to be for the road system in Humboldt County five years, 10 years from now, and 15, that's what we are trying to look at," Jacobson said.
Prior to removing the bridge, a public hearing will be held at a later date.