State DOT assesses future county road projects

The North Dakota Department of Transportation recently held some webinars to discuss future county road improvement projects and county road supervisor Terry Johnston said he agreed with the roads identified for future work.

Posted on 9/21/13

By Lee Coleman

The roads were categorized for work based on the risks associated with them.

“A lot of the risks involved the shoulders, drop-offs, curves in the road, blind intersections and accidents,” Johnston said. “There are five different regions in the state and everybody’s projects are ranked according to the risks.

“The DOT ranks them all and gives the most in need top priority. We may not see funding for our roads for two or three years. We don’t have near the high-risk factor as some.”

The DOT supplied a list of nine projects for Cavalier County totaling $114,150.

Of that amount, the county would be responsible for 10 percent while the DOT, Johnston noted, would pay 90 percent.

Topping the list for Cavalier County was 12 miles of road from North Dakota 5 to County 6 with a three-star risk factor and a price tag of $42,000.

The cost could fluctuate because the county has asked the DOT to proceed without rumble sticks on the side of the road.

Instead, the county wants six-inch white lines on the sides of these roads as compared to the traditional four-inch strips.

“We don’t believe in the rumble sticks because they will create maintenance problems with the asphalt breaking,” Johnston explained. “When water gets on them and they freeze, they crack, causing asphalt deterioration from them holding the water.

“We told the DOT we agreed with the projects with six-inch lines instead of the rumble sticks.”

With winter approaching, Johnston said overall, county roads are in pretty good shape for the winter season.

“They are in pretty good shape,” he said. “Our asphalt, for the most part, is in exceptional condition.

“The roads should be fine this winter as long as they don’t get torn up during harvest and freeze over before we can get them back in shape.”