Brown County Browser: Dealing with effects of spring flooding

The Brown County Highway Department has been busy with normal maintenance work plus repairing damage to county roads from this spring’s flood. This work will be ongoing through the summer and fall.

The Minnesota River has been high for so long some county roads have been under water for many weeks. With all the wet weather the gravel roads have been soft and had many frost boils causing travel problems. The Maintenance Crew has been blading the county gravel roads and hauling gravel and rock to make these areas passable.

It is taking longer this year than normal for the gravel roads to firm up. The older paved roads have developed more potholes than normal from the difficult winter weather. The County is planning to rehabilitate as many of these roads as funds allow next year. Until then we will patch the potholes to get us through until the surface can be reconstructed. The Maintenance Crew has been filling these potholes and sealing cracks in preparation of seal coating roads also. The County will be sealing 47 miles of newer paved roads this summer to help make these road surfaces last longer.

Every year when the snow melts the garbage that has been tossed out is revealed. There are a number of people that volunteer to pick up this garbage for a segment of road. For this volunteer work they get signs installed along the road with their organizations name on the signs. Another program that the County board has approved is for youth groups. A youth group can sign up to pick up the trash for several road segments and be paid $10 per mile as a fund raiser. The County maintains 346 miles of road and many of these miles are available for garbage pick-up.

Crash data has shown that there has been a number of run off the road crashes on Brown County highways over the years. One of the top recommended safety strategies to reduce run off the road crashes is edge rumbles. Brown County has installed edge rumbles on many miles of paved county highways for this reason. The County continues to add edge rumbles as older paved surfaces are rehabilitated. The 4 inch white edge stripe is also important to help travelers stay on the road. The edge stripe can usually be seen in a rain or snow storm to help see the edge of the road. These edge stripes are repainted every other year. Crash data has not supported the need for centerline mumbles on Brown County highways so the County does not install centerline mumbles.

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