New Truck Route For Safety

Gravel trucks get new route. Trucks transporting product from the sand and gravel operation on 72nd Street will eventually be going across private property, then east onto Cedar Creek Road/Bay Road to get to Highway 75 northbound. That will happen if Lyman-Richey makes some agreed-to upgrades to the county road in some areas.

This route will save 6 to 7 miles of travel for those trucks which now go south on 72nd Street and then east on Highway 66 to Highway 75. Bob Roos of Lyman-Richey told commissioners the majority of trucks have destinations that take them northward on Highway 75.

Lyman-Richey had first surfaced the idea about using Bay Road in August of last year. While it’s a public road and it’s likely there’s little the county could do to prevent trucks from using it, Lyman-Richey wanted to get county approval before directing the trucks to Bay Road.

County board members had some concerns then. District 2 Commissioner Janet McCartney was uneasy with the line of sight and the narrowness of the road. There was also concern about potential damage to the county road, especially on the ‘S’ curves on the rocked portion of the route.

Five years ago, Lyman-Richey and the county cooperated on sharing costs for upgrades on 72nd Street when trucks began traveling that route and Lyman-Richey indicated it was willing to talk to the county roads department about Bay Road improvements too. The results of those discussions were brought before the county board last week.

Widening S-curves, applying dust control chemicals on the rocked portion of the road, adding signage and taking out some trees were some of the major points worked out. Lyman-Richey said it talked to landowners along the way and they were aware of the company’s intentions and most were willing to work with the company.

“I think you’ll notice the speed of traffic will be much lower on this road (as opposed to 72nd Street) because of the ‘S’ curves,” said County Roads Superintendent Lenny Thorne.

McCartney said she’d explained to some concerned District 2 residents that Lyman-Richey had exercised “due diligence” in planning for this route. She also talked with Highway 75 construction planners from the state roads department and they had no issues with the new truck traffic route. McCartney noted they did tell her that with stop lights planned for the Bay Road and Highway 75 intersection during the upcoming highway construction, there could be traffic waits as long as 15 minutes on Bay Road for the next one to two years.

Bob Algya was the only property owner along the route to speak at the meeting. He voiced his worries about possible vibration damage to his brick home and devaluation of his property.

A motion to allow the new route passed 5 to 0. It passed with the contingencies that Lyman-Richey obtains leases/easements for the improvements and that signage continued to be studied.

The conditional use permit for the gravel plant on 72nd Street was granted in 2007. Company representatives told commissioners then it was estimated 15 to 17 million tons would be removed over the next 22 to 25 years, necessitating daily travel by 100 to 150 dump trucks pulling pup trailers.

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