Rain means more work for secondary roads, county engineer

The heavy rain last weekend, reported to be as much as 3-1/2 inches in some rain gauges, created issues for county engineer Wade Weiss.

He sent three maintainers out late Saturday afternoon to work on the “unofficial” detours – 215th St and 240th St – around the Highway 30 closure for the new overpass at Grand Junction. The roads were treated heavily during the summer to control dust. “The chloride is great for dust control, but in slick conditions – rain and snow and ice – it’s a detriment, and it causes more problems,” Weiss told the supervisors Monday.

Weiss said two maintainers went out Sunday morning to make the detour “drivable.”
He said he will have discussion with the Department of Transportation about the labor costs involved. He said that since the county hasn’t charged the DOT for every expense involved, he will suggest to the DOT that the county not be charged for every expense in an upcoming shared asphalt project. “There has to be a little team work there,” he said.

Weiss also told the supervisors there was significant water leakage into the Mahanay Memorial Bell Tower during the heavy rain.

Leaking is not a new problem. The last time it was discussed the supervisors decided to wait until the work involved in hanging the new bells was completed.

The rubber roof has exceeded its life expectancy. “It’s very hard to tell where the leaks are coming from… I think we need to do something other than rubber. There are a lot of penetrations to go around, like the uprights… It’s not a good system, for sure,” Weiss said.
Muir said the plan of the building is “poor.” “The plan of that building wasn’t how we’re going to keep water out of it. It was a plan for how we’re going to put bells at the top,” board chair John Muir.

Sealant on the side joints also needs to be replaced, and sealant on the windows.
Weiss said he has called a couple of contractors in Des Moines about looking at the project.

Because the county owns the bell tower, Weiss was very involved in the installation of the bells. That has been in addition to three bridge projects, working with MidAmerican Energy on the wind turbine project, and other road maintenance. “This is the busiest year I’ve ever had,” he told the supervisors.

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