Austin talks spring road repairs

Dawn Rye | Writer

In the spring of 2019, Turner County roads and farmland endured tremendous amounts of flooding that totaled millions of dollars of damage. How do the roads and bridges look in Turner County now?

Turner County Highway Superintendent Kent Austin said out of the seven bridges that were down, they are all currently up and running except for the one bridge located in Brothersfield Township, four miles north and a quarter-mile west of Parker. He explained this road is a minimum maintenance road that will be back open in the spring. 

Austin said the general conditions of the roads are in decent shape after 26 roads were closed during the spring flooding. He explained his crews worked diligently to put roads back together not only once, but twice. 

“I’m pretty proud of the crew. They did an awesome job,” commented Austin. 

He explained the bridge on 280th Street east of Highway 19, which is three miles north of Hurley and three and a quarter east, is open for temporary use until spring. Austin said there are still three weeks’ worth of work to be done. Two bridges would possibly be replaced, both in Turner Township. 

Another issue Austin addressed was Highway 46, two miles south of Centerville intersecting with 19A, that is closed to Beresford. He said with the highway being closed it seems to be impacting Turner County drivers. Austin noted the trucks coming from the west are detouring through Centerville and on county roads instead of taking the required detour on State Highway 18 through Davis. 

He explained he is anticipating high water this spring and with extremely saturated roads last spring, the county doing their best to put the things back together. Austin asked drivers to “please be patient.” 

He noted his goal for this spring is to chip seal 50 miles, lay centerline striping for 60 miles and pave 20 miles. He explained the county would also do their normal gravel road maintenance and add gravel to different roads as needs. Austin said all Turner County roads took a beating last spring and he anticipates them to take another hit this spring. 

He noted that as a reminder to citizens and the traveling public, if there are road barricades up to not move them, they are there a reason and safety to the public. 

Austin said the county would appreciate any phone calls regarding the damage they might see. He noted the county couldn’t be on every road so citizens are encouraged to call him with questions or concerns.

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