Lake County Commissioners joked on Tuesday morning they needed popcorn when Lake County Highway Superintendent Nels Nelson introduced a new method for resurfacing roadways by showing a video.
In looking at next year's budget, Nelson is considering the possibility of resurfacing the SD-34 bypass using a method currently used by the City of Sioux Falls. By using a slurry seal, the life of a road can be extended five to seven years, Nelson explained.
The video indicated the method uses an oil aggregate mixture to "freshen up" a roadway. The cost is a fraction of doing an overlay but is more expensive than chip sealing. However, it seals cracks and imperfections better than chip sealing, according to Nelson.
"We have to make sure the surface is patched," he indicated in response to a question about road repairs.
Commissioner Aaron Johnson noted the video referenced residential driving and Sioux Falls used the process for city streets. Nelson indicated there are no issues related to using it for county roads but reiterated his plan to use it for the bypass only, at this point.
Nelson also reported that striping on designated roadways may not be done this year because no bids were submitted to the state Department of Transportation in this region. He asked the DOT to keep Lake County on the list, should the project be awarded when the project is put out for bids a second time.
Commissioners discussed the possibility of seeking a bid locally due to the danger of driving on unstriped roads during the winter and in the dark. Shelli Gust, commission administrative officer, advised commissioners not to do so because the state provided a 60% match for these projects.
In a final matter related to county roads, commissioners approved a resolution restricting truck traffic on 220th Street, also known as County Road 10, northeast of Nunda between 463rd Avenue and 464th Avenue.
"The trucks are beating up the road, making it unsafe for cars and pickups," Nelson told commissioners in making the request. The road is frequently used to take beans to the South Dakota Soybean Processors plant in Volga.
The road runs between two sloughs. To date, no culverts have been located under the road, and clay is currently pushing up through the surface, according to Nelson.
Commissioner Adam Leighton asked if the closure to thru truck traffic would be permanent, noting it is his primary route to Volga. Nelson said the goal is to repair it later this summer when it has dried up a little.
"We need to get trucks off it to heal it back up," he stated.
In a brief phone interview following the meeting, Nelson indicated the project would involve a lot of manhours. An area will be cut out with the excavator and new material will be laid down. A culvert or drain tile may also be installed to prevent the problem from recurring in the future.
The resolution will be rescinded when the problem has been addressed, according to Gust.