Busy road to get much needed improvement

Construction season is in full force, and Hettinger is no exception.

The road leading to Mirror Lake will be paved after construction is finished. A start date for construction has yet to be determined. (Photo by Cole Benz/The Record)
The road leading to Mirror Lake will be paved after construction is finished. A start date for construction has yet to be determined. (Photo by Cole Benz/The Record)

Record Editor

Whether you refer to it as Mirror Lake Road, or Elevator Road (online maps refer to it as Mirror Lake Road), one thing is certain, it could use some tender loving care. And It will get it.

During the May Hettinger County Commissioners meeting (May 5), the commissioners awarded the bid to Dickinson contractor Northern Improvement.

Construction will start where Highway 8 intersects with Mirror Lake Road just south of the train tracks, and it will go east until Cemetery Road (2nd Avenue Street SE) and head north all the the way up to US Highway 12.

While the road has been patched from year to year, according to Highway Superintendent Theo Schalesky, it hasn’t had a big overhaul in quite some time.

Adams County Auditor Pat Carroll said that while some spots are worse than others, there is enough need to repair the whole road.

“There’s work that needs to be done on all of it,” Carroll said. “Some is just worse than the other.”

A start date has yet to be determined, Carroll said the county engineer was going to send an award letter to the contractor that they will have to sign and send back. When the county receives the letter back, she said they might have a better idea of when the project will begin.

“I’m guessing once we receive [the signed letter] back, we’ll know a project start date, and end date,” Carroll said.

An end date will be given to the contract when more is known about what the project will entail. When construction is finished the road will be paved, so a timeline may depend on what the condition is under the current chip-seal.

“I guess we really won’t know [the condition] until, you know, [the contractors] get in there,” Carroll said. “They’re going to have to dig down and find out what the base is like, how much gravel is there, before they can pave it.”

Aside from the road, she thought there may be one or two culverts that get replaced in the process, but the majority of the project is focused on improving the condition.

The project, Carroll said, a big part of the funding is coming out of grants the county received under HB1176.

“The majority of [the project] is going to be paid by that grant,” Carroll said.

Carroll said the project will cost an estimated $1.7 million, and reiterated to the Record that a majority of it is covered under the grant, but she couldn’t give a percentage at this point in time. She also added that the commissioners have not yet decided what funding will be used to pay the difference between the project cost and the grant money.

This project is set to benefit a couple of groups of people: community members heading to Mirror Lake, and farmers transporting crops to the elevator. Either way, Carroll said that the new surface should be better for any commuter traveling on the road.

“[Pavement] will be a much better surface,” Carroll said.

Needless to say it will cause some inconveniences for people wanting to get out to the lake and the park. And Carroll said she didn’t know at what point in the road construction would start. But there may be provisions in the contract preventing crews from working during special events, like the 4th Of July Celebration.