May 25, 2024

 Engineer, contractor differ on Highway 10 project

Find this content useful? Share it with your friends!

C. A. Ray
Grant County Herald

Things got a little tense at last Tuesday’s Grant County Commissioners meeting when the future of the troubled Highway #10 project was debated. Project designer Ron Bray of WSB Engineers, and contractors for the project, John Riley, had a difference of opinion on what happened last summer and how to proceed this coming summer. 

Bray said rebuilding the seven mile, $9.6 million, project has been broken up into four segments: 1.) a half mile rebuilding of Highway #10 from County Road #2, just east of Barrett through a residential area, 2.) a mile long stretch from the end of segment one around the southeast corner of Barrett Lake, over a hill, through a 1,000 foot wetland crossing, the wetland crossing itself, all the way to the junction of County Road #36, 3.) from the junction of #36, across the “big dip” and around a sharp 90 degree corner to the beginning of  4.) a final straight stretch all the way to #79.

Bray said a 1000 foot segment of segment two, through the wetland, is the “problem child.” The problem is that the road keeps sinking and the road will not stabilize enough for traffic.  Tons of fill have been dumped on the segment in a process called “surcharge.” The road should sink, until it could go no lower, then fill is removed and the road rises a bit, but is stabilized. The problem is the roadbed does not stop sinking. Various strategies were attempted last summer but nothing worked. Bray said there are indications, winter may have helped the stabilization process and he would like to sub-contract with Braun Intertec to take borings, at least 70 feet down, to see what the situation is. Braun completed $25,000 worth of borings last year, and would charge another $25,000 this spring for more borings.

Bray said, meanwhile Riley’s could complete the other three segments of the project, all the way to surfacing. He said some of this work should have been done last summer, but time was wasted.

In their defense, John Riley said they wasted two and one-half months, last summer, dumping clay and filling in the surcharge, and then having to wait weeks for it to sink so they could add more.

Bray argued that Riley could have been working on the other three segments during that time. 

“The project is seven miles long, only 1,000 feet are causing problems.”

Riley countered by saying more borings were not going to help, and they were not given any direction last summer.

Bray said to forget last summer and after the borings are completed and analyzed, they should show if the fill has, at last, reached the bottom or how far they have left to go. Then they will develop a plan to complete the project. Meanwhile he said he would like to see Riley completes the rest of the road with curbing, culverts and surfacing.

Both sides agreed to improve communication and try to get the troubled project completed. Bray said he hopes to have a new plan going forward by early February. However, even under the best of circumstances, completing the project may take at least another year.

 Recorder’s office year end report

Grant County Recorder Holly Jo Wevley, produced a year end report from her office for the commissioners. 

The report showed $449,075.11 was collected from fees in 2022, compared to $407,075.75 in 2021, 1,749 documents were recorded in 2022 compared to 2,027 in 2021, 17 marriage licenses were issued in 2022 compared to 18 in 2021. 106 passports were issued and 168 passport photos taken in 2022 compared to 102 passports and 179 photos in 2021.

Find this content useful? Share it with your friends!