Supervisors assess flood damage to roads
Last week’s rains created minor flooding on some Jefferson County roads, causing the secondary roads department to barricade and post closed road signs Thursday and Friday, County Engineer Scott Cline reported at Jefferson County supervisors board meeting today.
“Hemlock was closed, we didn’t want anyone to drive across the bridge,” said Cline. “The bridge had debris clinging to it when the water went back down, but the structure looked OK. We cleaned the debris away.
“Some of the shoulders of roads got rocked to stabilize the soft spots.”
Cline estimated a dozen or so portions of roads around the county were closed due to high water at the end of last week. To re-open paved roads, mud had to be scraped away.
He said portions of Cedar Avenue, 220th Street, Ash Avenue, 160th Street, Osage Avenue, 205th Street, 160th Street also known as Germanville Road, Redwood Avenue, Juniper Avenue and Fir Avenue were among those closed.
“Even Pleasant Plain Road had water over the top of part of it,” said Cline.
Supervisor Dick Reed asked if it was the portion of Pleasant Plain Road near the new bridge, at the curve, and Cline confirmed it was.
Some roads were already open again, but he couldn’t say how many remained closed. Crews were out working this morning while he attended the supervisors meeting.
“The roads will open back up when the water is gone and the roads are safe,” added Reed.
Supervisor chairman Lee Dimmitt asked if any of the flooding damage would allow the county to receive external funds for repairs.
“Wapello County declared a disaster; but it did loose a bridge,” said Dimmitt.
Cline said only one road in Jefferson County that had water qualifies but it needs to be a certain dollar amount of damage to be declared a disaster, and he didn’t think that would be the case.
“I will probably have an inspection of Osage Avenue, the one bridge will need an official inspection,” said Cline.
Cline said Libertyville, which experienced a water main break under Cedar Creek, is debating running a temporary water line along Hemlock Avenue until the break is located and can be repaired.
Reed asked if the road department places road-closed signs, does the county notify the sheriff’s department.
Cline said the Jefferson County Law Center and the school bus/transportation system are notified of the road closures.
In other road news:
• A public hearing will be held at 9:30 a.m. May 6, during the regular Monday meeting of Jefferson County Board of Supervisors to approve reclassifying sections of Kava Avenue and 115th Street in Section 11 of Blackhawk Township. The portion of the road would be reclassified from a gravel road to a Class B dirt road.
• The county will file the official paperwork to properly vacate a closed portion of 170th Avenue; the portion of the road that crosses the Fairfield airfield and runway.
“My understanding is no one can drive across this portion of 170th, but it never got properly vacated,” said Pat McAvan, assistant county attorney.
Reed said it would be good to get the paperwork cleaned up.
“It’s all water under the bridge, now,” he said. “This will require written notice to all adjacent property owners and utilities.”
• The county will approve a resolution to remove a stop sign for westbound traffic at Hemlock Avenue.
“It’s a gravel road the goes out into mud,” said Reed. “The bridge is barricaded; there’s no reason to have a stop sign there.”