Brown County Browser: Winter tough on roads

Spring is finally here. This past winter has been hard on the roads. With all the snow, rain, freezing and thawing in February and March potholes have opened up in the older road surfaces. Cold mix is normally used this time of year to temporarily fill the potholes until permanent repair material is available. The Brown County Highway Department used the normal amount of cold mix for a typical season in the first week after the snow melted. Potholes have been so bad for everyone this year that our supplier ran out and we had to wait until more was made. We are working on filling the potholes as quickly as time and materials allow.

This spring the Minnesota River flooded again and County State Aid Highway (CSAH) 13 north of New Ulm has been closed until the flood waters recede. I have been asked why we can’t sandbag the road to keep it open, especially with the TH 14 (7th North) bridge closed for construction. The main reason is to protect the Beussman Bridge. This bridge was constructed in 1987 with a designed sag in the road. This means the Minnesota River was planned to flow over the road before it reached the bottom member of the bridge. Bridges aren’t built for the side pressure of water pushing against them. If the bridge had been constructed so the road would not flood, the bridge would have had to be several feet higher and much longer than the 600 feet long it currently is. The increase in length would have cost hundreds of thousands of dollars more.

A concrete overlay project is planned to begin May 20 on CSAH 29 from CSAH 12 outside of New Ulm to State Highway 4. The road will be closed to everyone that does not live on CSAH 29. A detour will be established on US Highway 14 and State Highway 4. CSAH 29 will be closed for about three months. A shoulder widening and regrade project is planned for CSAH 7 between Cobden and Evan. Wider shoulders will be added, slopes flattened, hills backsloped and two curves improved. This will be constructed in the second half of the summer. A mill and overlay project in Leavenworth will be completed this summer. The final project is a bridge replacement on the KC Road west of CSAH 13 for Milford Township. All of these roads will be closed to through traffic for the duration of each project. Please plan your travels accordingly.

If you have any comments or questions call us at 507-233-5700.

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