Tour gives update on Lyon County road projects

LYON?COUNTY?- Lyon County road construction projects have made progress despite some recent wet weather. A county road tour conducted Tuesday highlighted both some completed projects, as well as others that are currently under way. Lyon County commissioners went on the tour, with county Highway Engineer Aaron VanMoer and Highway Superintendent Jim Thomasson answering questions and giving updates on several projects.

Safety improvements to dangerous intersections were two of the stops on the tour. Commissioners saw the updated intersection of Lyon County Road 7 and U.S. Highway 14, between Balaton and Tracy. The intersection has a two-way stop, but hilly terrain made it difficult for drivers going south on County Road 7 to see the approaching stop sign. The intersection was the site of a fatal crash in 2008.

The approach to the intersection has now been regraded to improve visibility at the intersection. VanMoer said enough earth was moved to take six feet off the top of the last hill approaching the stop sign. The road is now open to the public, he said.

Another intersection that was realigned this construction season was the intersection of County Road 14 and County Road 54, west of Garvin. The original intersection had been described as being “pork chop” shaped, with risky two-way traffic. VanMoer said the intersection has been simplified into a T intersection.

Commissioners also saw work in progress on two projects related to parks and recreational trails. Grading work is in progress for a road realignment near the planned site of Twin Lakes Park south of Ruthton. Grading is also in progress for a section of the Camden State Park regional bike trail. VanMoer said workers with the city of Marshall were in the process of blading the portion of the trail within Camden State Park and would start hauling gravel for the trail bed soon.

VanMoer said this portion of the trail, which will connect Camden State Park with Lynd and Marshall, is not being funded by a state Legacy grant awarded back in December. The grant will go toward construction of a segment of the trail running south of Marshall. He said construction of that segment is planned for 2014, after land is acquired.

The road tour was also a chance for commissioners to get an update on road surfacing and maintenance projects. Projects commissioners saw included some completed shoulder work and culvert replacements, as well as the new concrete surface on County Road 10 between U.S. Highway 59 and the city of Cottonwood. Grading work was under way on County Road 10 west of Minneota.

VanMoer said the county was also “sitting pretty good” on maintenance to its gravel roads. Recent wet weather helped to pack down new gravel on roads where the gravel was replaced.