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County Building Up Road Into Claremont

April 28, 2011, 5:17 PM by Erich Schaffhauser

County Building Up Road Into Claremont
CLAREMONT, SD - It's going to take some time but people in Claremont may soon have a safe, dry route into town for the first time in weeks.

The Brown County Highway Department is working on its second plan to get a route into town.

With all of the water in the area, roads to the north and east of Claremont are closed. The one to the south is now passable if it doesn't rain. And the road to the west of town has a foot of water over it.

But the highway department is in an all out effort to build that submerged stretch up. As many as eight county trucks are constantly traveling that road, hauling in gravel.

"It's probably not an answer to solve the problem forever but it is a way into town," Dale Kurth said.

County crews originally started repairing a township road that would have provided an alternate route to town. But the base was so weak from the high water, it gave out. Now they're building up a long, flooded stretch on a blacktop county road instead.

But the road being repaired isn't strong enough to handle large gravel trucks. So they're dumping the gravel at a drop-off site just off a stronger state highway.

From there, the county is partially filling smaller trucks and using them to take trips back and forth to the flooded stretch. It could take a week to get that entire stretch built up.

"Everybody's had enough but it's a long ways from being over," Marty Micko said.

Micko figured last year's flooding was the worst he'd see. But he says this year is worse. As he drives a Ranger to and from home, he's also glad to see there'll be a descent route to town again.

He doesn't live down the road being built up. But the flooded road is a hassle for many. He and many others are ready for the day all the water starts to recede.

"Yeah, a year ago I got sick of it," Kurth said.

The highway department started building up that Claremont road Wednesday.
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