County Road and Bridge given green light to fix deteriorating roads

Road and Bridge director: Roads are ‘truly, extraordinarily rough’

By Lyndsie Kiebert
Reader Staff

The Board of Bonner County Commissioners approved a resolution Jan. 28 that would allow Bonner County Road and Bridge to take measures necessary to repair gravel roads severely damaged by the unusually warm and fluctuating weather patterns this winter.

“There are potholes like I’ve never seen in 60 years,” Road and Bridge Director Steve Klatt said Tuesday at the BOCC business meeting. “It’s something we wouldn’t normally make a maintenance feature, but this year, we have roads that are truly, extraordinarily rough.”

Klatt listed East River Road, North Kootenai, North Boyer, North Center Valley, Blacktail and Woodland Drive as some of the roads in particular need of repair.

“I’ve gone out driving some of the [roads] in my district, and you’ve never seen anything like this before,” said Commissioner Dan McDonald. “A lot of that is because it snowed in September, froze, thawed, froze, thawed and people don’t change their driving habits.”

A majority of the work will be trucking in gravel to fill potholes. Klatt said that work will be contracted out to avoid having to break down and convert the county’s trucks, which are currently outfitted for plowing and managing icy roads. Klatt said he’s also been working to create a mechanism that would blow standing water out of the potholes, seeing as the new gravel cannot be laid over waterlogged roads.

The department anticipates spending as much as $50,000 on the necessary repairs, Klatt said.

McDonald said he has received several calls and emails from concerned people throughout Bonner County having trouble traveling on county roads.

“They’re desperate for us to do something,” he said.

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