County Public Works Outlines 2012 Spring, Summer Maintenance Plans

 Stevens County Public Works will again be busy this spring and summer providing road maintenance services to the residents of Stevens County. The activities discussed in this release generally pertain to paved roadways. However, we will also do routine work on gravel roads grading, ditching, brushing and managing roadside vegetation. We trust that this release provides the public important information regarding our upcoming programs and services increases awareness and serves to solicit public input.

In general, our major spring road maintenance activities will include but are not necessarily limited to grading gravel roads, brooming sand left over from winter sanding, roadside vegetation control and crack filling paved roads to prevent water infiltration and damage. We feel it is important to inform those residents living along a gravel road that our department works very hard to maintain these type roads in the best possible condition.

We generally grade every mile of our more heavily traveled 825 total miles at least twice per year. However, as the summer months progress and the area generally dries out, so do our gravel roads. Unfortunately, the consequence of this is the inevitable dust and wash-boarding which strikes nearly every gravel road. To further exacerbate the problem, we are unable to grade these roads again until we receive sufficient moisture in the form of a long, steady and soaking rain. Once the rain arrives it generally takes our department 3-4 weeks to get to all areas given our limited number of road graders. We therefore hope you will be patient and know that we sincerely take any and all measures necessary to get to your area for grading as soon as possible.

Stevens County does administer a “no fee” dust abatement program and coordinates with commercial providers to make a landowners purchase of road dust oiling as hassle-free as possible. Please contact us at our Administrative Office (684-4548) if you’d like more information.

Also this year, nearly all county roads are scheduled for roadside vegetation management, which will be provided by mechanical and chemical methods. The purpose of mechanical brush control is to enhance line-of-sight for drivers, reduce fixed object collision hazards and improve conditions to reduce vehicle/wildlife interactions. Our chemical treatment program is intended to control noxious weeds throughout the county. If you have concerns regarding our mechanical or chemical treatment (herbicide) program, please call our office. Stevens County does administer a no-spray/owner maintained roadside program. Please call the Stevens County Weed Board at (509) 684-7590 for more information.

Stevens County does have several construction projects planned for 2012. These projects include the Blue Creek Road Reconstruction Project and the County-wide Safety Improvement Project. The Blue Creek Project involves reconstruction of Blue Creek Road starting at SR 395 and ending at Addy-Gifford Road. The project will mean the road is under construction and travel through the area will be delayed (up to 30 minutes) at times. However, continuous access will be provided for all emergency vehicles. The project is scheduled to be completed by November 1. The County-wide safety project will be occurring at various locations county-wide but delays are not anticipated.

Finally, Stevens County was successful in applying for state funding to replace the now closed Arden Bridge. The bridge was closed due to a washout late in 2011 that compromised the foundation. We are in the design and permitting stage and are hopeful that construction can start late-summer 2012; but permitting delays may force construction to be delayed until 2013. Please feel free to call the Public Works Administrative Office for updates.

Stevens County is hopeful that this publication is helpful to you, our customers, the local citizens. Please call our Administrative Office at (509) 684-4548 with questions, concerns or comments regarding our programs. Your input will be greatly appreciated. You can also visit our Website at http://www.co.stevens.wa.us/ and click on Departments/Public Works for current information on our department, including the 2012 construction program.