Roads Collapse In Two Corners Of County
The Road Department was kept running from one end of Valley County to the other this weekend, repairing potentially dangerous damage to two roads.
A Glentana resident reported Friday night that the Glentana Road (Highway 438) just south of Glentana was rapidly washing away around a culvert. He said the road was very soft.
Snow lying deep in the coulees in the north part of the county was melting in the warmer weather and pouring from the head of Spring Coulee, said road superintendent Wayne Waarvik.
Road Department workers went out that night and closed the road. By 10 a.m. Saturday, people were driving around the closure, Waarvik said.
Dispatch received a call from a road employee out of Opheim who said people had been moving the roadblocks and he had been out to Glentana twice on Saturday to put them back in place.
“I can’t believe people do that,” Waarvik said. “We had it coned, flagged and barricaded.”
At 2 p.m. the road completely washed out, leaving a 10-foot hole. The barricades were put back up and that Opheim road employee hoped everyone would stay away.
Also on Saturday morning, on the opposite side of the county, Jessie Korman was driving a Tahoe south on Larb Creek Road, heading for the home ranch, when an old culvert collapsed beneath him. His outfit fell rear-first into a deep hole.
Waarvik said the 9-foot culvert was installed in 1981, the first year he started on the Road Department. Luckily, it was a part of the road that Korman had to take slowly. He was able to climb out of the Tahoe, walk to the nearby Chet Cummings Ranch and call for help.
The road was closed and there was no way to go around the damaged section because there was too much water, Waarvik said. Five people were putting in a new 11-foot culvert on Tuesday, and they hope to have the road re-opened this week.
The Larb Creek Road repair will cost about $55,000 to $60,000, Waarvik estimated. The Glentana Road is already fixed and back in service. The pipe was still good, so the repairs were less, around $6,000 to $6,500, he said.