Townships survey roads as some still under waterIn Industrial Township northwest of Duluth, town chairman Dick Williams Jr. can’t begin to estimate how much road repair work the town has in front of it, because some roads remain underwater.
By: Andrew Krueger, Duluth News Tribune
In Industrial Township northwest of Duluth, town chairman Dick Williams Jr. can’t begin to estimate how much road repair work the town has in front of it, because some roads remain underwater.
Williams said Thursday afternoon that parts of Hanson Road, off County Highway 8, were under 5 feet of water. He’s lived in the township for 33 years, and said the flooding was “unbelievable — not even close” to anything he’s seen before.
County Highway 7, a main road through the township, was closed Thursday because of flooding at Beartrap Creek. That was forcing long detours for Williams and other town residents, an experience shared by residents of rural areas across the Northland — in places like Lakewood and Rice Lake townships, where the raging Lester River caused a massive collapse of Jean Duluth Road. And in Midway Township west of Duluth, where the Midway River carved gaps in Midway and St. Louis River roads.
For rural townships, the shared experience of damaged roads also includes a hit on town budgets.
“It’s going to have an impact. We’re not going to be able to do our routine maintenance, because we’ll be fixing” flood damage, Williams said of the cost of fixing flood damage.
In Duluth Township, between Duluth and Two Harbors, the road damage was minimal given how much rain fell; supervisor of roads Dave Miller said only one road was completely washed out, and a dozen driveway culverts were ruined. He estimated repair costs at $30,000 to $35,000.
“Every year we try to put some of our road levy money aside for these kinds of emergencies,” he said, so the town should be able to handle it OK.