County expands surface stabilization projects

Board of Supervisors
Kim Brooks
Express Editor

     The success of surface stabilization on Jones County Secondary Roads has prompted County Engineer Derek Snead to expand the efforts.

     During the May 8 Jones County Supervisor meeting, Snead presented a list of county roads proposed for surface stabilization:

     • 32nd Street south of Olin

     • 65th Avenue west of Oxford Junction

     • 42nd Street east of Oxford Junction

     • River Road north of Monticello

     • 150th Avenue east of Monticello

     • Butterfield Road northeast of Monticello, south of Cascade

     Snead said the surface stabilization product (magnesium chloride) is tentatively scheduled to go down on the roads starting the second week in June.

     “Contract rock should be done before then,” he said.

     The county started this process on gravel roads in 2012. A portion of Forest Chapel Road acted as a test strip, with the road getting the same product every year since then.

     “Every four or five years we can expand the network of roads we do,” offered Snead.

     He said one of the biggest reasons for the stabilization product is road maintenance.

     “It reduces the amount of maintenance on the road and reduces the amount of contract and spot rock,” Snead said. “It also dramatically reduces the duct control, especially with 65th Avenue.” The product helps seal the rock and keeps the material on the roadways longer.

     Supervisor Ned Rohedder asked Snead if 15th Street in the far southern part of the county would be a good candidate for surface stabilization. A resident on 15th Street reported on the poor condition of the road at the previous board meeting.

     Snead explained the program includes six gravel roads that see roughly 200-plus vehicles a day.

     “They all have more traffic than 15th Street,” he said. “Some quite a bit more.”

     Snead said if he were to drop the traffic count to 160 vehicles a day, that would add another 10 or so roads to the list. “Some roads justify it more so than others. Some have more houses, not just clustered in one location.”

     However, Snead did not discount the idea.

     “There are opportunities out there to increase the locations for surface stabilization,” he suggested.

     Supervisor Wayne Manternach praised the use of surface stabilization, and has been a champion from the beginning. “I am a big fan,” he said. “It does what it’s advertised to do and helps immensely.”

In other county business:

     • Emergency Management Coordinator Brenda Leonard met with the board to provide an update on the FEMA preliminary flood plan map revisions.

     Leonard said FEMA used the county’s drone photos from the 2016 summer flood. The DNR had images as well.

     “Nothing really sticks out,” she said of the revisions. “They’re just tightening a few things.”

     Leonard said there would be a public meeting for homeowners to attend if they have any questions regarding the flood maps. The date has not been released. There is a 90-day appeal period, following a 30-day comment period. FEMA would then release the new flood maps.

     • Leonard also reported that the National Weather Service in the Quad Cities officially labeled a May 3 storm that passed over the Olin and Mechanicsville area as an EF-0. She said the storm picked up a carport and then set it back down without any damage. No injuries were reported. There were several trees and limbs that fell due to the storm’s outflow, with winds at 65mph.

     • Rick Caspers, developer of the Wapsi Ridge 1st Addition in Fairview Township, was present at the meeting, along with Land Use Administrator Michele Lubben, to discuss the preliminary plat.

     The subdivision lies off Forest Chapel Road, with 15 lots and two roads.

     In March, the Planning and Zoning Commission reviewed the plat, but set it back to Caspers with some changes.

     Lubben noted one of the variances deals with a south entrance that would not used for safety reasons.

     “It can be used as a driveway for a lot,” she said, “but not for the entire subdivision due to its proximity to Forest Chapel Road.”

     The board approved the preliminary plat.

     “It’s great to have people interested in doing this,” praised Supervisor Joe Oswald of Caspers’ development. “This is not an easy task.”

     Lubben said since she’s been with Lad Use six years now, this is the first major subdivision she’s worked on.



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