April 21, 2024

Highway 10 project on schedule despite challenges

The Lego-like geofoam syrofoam blocks are laid duing the Highway 10 project.

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C. A. Ray
Grant County Herald

Grant County Highway Engineer Tracey Von Bargen calls the  Highway 10 project “complicated.” That may be a bit of an understatement. Poor soils, archaeologically sensitive areas and difficult working conditions have challenged  the $10 million road restoration and realignment project from the get go.

It’s the first 3.7 miles of Highway 10, from County Road #2 to County Road #36 that are causing the biggest challenge for contractor the Riley Brothers, as the road winds around the east side of Barrett Lake, goes over a heavily wooded hill, down through a major wetland, up and around a small lake, east though a deep dip and around another sharp curve and up to a seven mile straightaway to MinnesotaHighway 79.

Plans call for the road to be realigned for much of the first four miles, making for safer corners, wider shoulders and better sightlines for drivers.  However poor soils have called for the placement of four “surcharge” areas. These are several layers of four foot deep sand that must settle for two weeks after placement in order to compress the soil underneath enough to limit future settlement of the roadway. This slows down the work as little can be done until the soil is stabilized, Surcharge 1 is in the first several hundred feet of the project as the road passes between two bodies of water. This portion, according to Von Bargen, has gone well and is almost ready for grading and storm sewers. Surcharge 3 is an attempt to make, what locals call “The Big Dip” safer by building it up enough so travelers can see what is at the top of the hill before you get there, while traveling west. This portion of the project has also gone well as the surcharge is complete. Surcharge 4 is on the sharp 90 degree turn that also goes up a hill to the north, in the last quarter mile of the troubled portion of the project. This portion too is going well, and grading has started.

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