St. Louis County is Watching the Roads

Posted at: 04/26/2013 4:22 PM | Updated at: 04/26/2013 6:13 PM
By: Travis Dill
tdill@wdio.com

The spring thaw could expose damage from last June's flood that has been hidden beneath roads in the Northland.

It was not hard to spot most of the damage after last June's flood, but 10 months later St. Louis County is watching for new holes in county roads.

Communications Manager Dana Kazel said the melting snow and thawing ground has revealed problems in St. Louis County.

“What's happening now is what we weren't able to see, what's been happening underground. And when the ground thaws as the frost heaves the ground shifts,” Kazel said.

She said the changing temperatures can create voids beneath the roadway where floods may have weakened the sub-surface.

And she said it is easy to see the difference between a void and a typical pot hole.

“If they see a pothole that has formed around a pipe, so if you can look down and actually see the pipe that could be a sign there's a void underneath and we would ask simply call the public works department,” Kazel said.

The problem is uncommon, but earlier this week county crews repaired a hole north of Duluth that was two feet wide and five feet deep.

For now the voids may be hidden concerns, but more could appear as temperature rises.

County crews are making rounds to watch for any potential problems, but the public can call in if they find any of the unique holes. The county asks that calls be directed to the Public Works Department at 218-625-3830.

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