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Ask Mr. Answer Person: "What is a 'Class A Road'?"

Posted: Sat, Nov 3, 2012 8:04 PM
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Lee e-mails: Dear Mr Answer Person: Thanks for covering the issue of transparency and the example of change in dealing with winter roads in the county.  But several questions come up in my mind as a result of the story.  What is a Class A road and how is that different from Class B and C?  And, more importantly, how much would the new policy change actual practice from has been happening?"

Mr. Answer Person says: "This question is waaaay out of my expertise.  So let me rely on this answer from Winneshiek County Engineer Lee Bjerke:

"A Class A road is the vast majority of the system.  All paved roads are class A, almost all of the gravel roads are Class A.  Class B and Class C roads are probably better known as "unimproved" roads.  All of B and C roads have signs on them stating that you are entering a B or C road.  C roads have gates on them that restrict users, B roads have no gates. 

As far as the change in policy goes, that is not a cut and dry answer.  Every storm is different.  Wind, snow fall amounts, ice, temperatures, etc all impact the effect of the storm on each individual road.  What the policy change is made to do is allow the county to evaluate each storm and prioritize our operation to make the most efficient and expedient work of it.  Get to the roads that we can do some good to first and leave those that are really going to be excessively difficult for later.

Simply put, our intent is to do things as we have in the past.  Get one lane open on every road on "DAY ONE" and then widen out from there.   BUT, if a storm creates a condition where the county is not achieving the desired results in our winter road clearing operations, we can alter our operation to put the emphasis on where we can improve things and intentionally delay the tougher places when we can give them more time. 

I would encourage anyone who wants to know what the proposed policy says to stop in my office and get a copy, it is important.  I would almost be willing to bet that most of your readers do not know what is in the current policy.  There are many things that people think we are providing that we are not, every tax payer should know what those things are before they feel they were denied something.  It makes it easier for everyone to be properly prepared.

And as always, I encourage anyone to contact me with any questions with respect to Secondary Roads."

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