Five-year plans for secondary roads explained for Benton County

Benton County Courthouse

By Jim Magdefrau

VINTON – Highway plans and routine business were on the agenda for the Benton County Board of Supervisors, when they met Tuesday, April 12, 2022, at the Benton County Service Center, Vinton.


Engineer Myron Parizek explained the Iowa Department of Transportation Secondary Road Budget for next fiscal year. He showed them a map on what’s going on each calendar year. He talked about the Oak Grove extension project near the Linn County line. There is a bridge that will be replaced by a twin box culvert. The project will start Aug. 1 or 8. He hopes this project will be done in a month to six weeks.

Next Tuesday, the IDOT letting will open bids for bridge replacement on 32nd Ave and the 75th Street intersection.

The department has ordered roadway pipes for work in Monroe and Canton Townships. He also hopes to address the Oak Grove Church area.

They also plan to purchase right of way for improvements on the road between Blairstown and Highway 30. Right of way will be purchased as time allows. He is getting a quote for assistance from an acquisition company. This is the same company used for the Van Horne road years ago. He is also working with a title company to determine ownership. He’d like to work on this over the next two construction seasons. Detour plans were also discussed, using the Luzerne and Watkins roads.

Work in 2023 includes continued grading work on the Blairstown road. They are also looking at work on 61st Street if they can get letters of support from the City of Vinton and the county. Resurfacing is being considered east of Vinton toward the Oak Grove Church, and paving the rock stretch from the church to Linn County. Culvert work is planned in Polk Township. Bridge replacement work is also planned, based on bridge inspection reports.

In 2024, they are looking to cluster asphalt resurfacing projects as well as some construction. Resurfacing is planned south of Blairstown and west of Newhall. Shoulder widening work is planned in 2025 on the West Side road near Atkins. Right of way purchase is also planned on 13th Avenue near Belle Plaine. Concrete and asphalt work is planned west of Garrison. Surface improvement is planned on 150 out past the quarry. Further bridge work is also planned.

As for 2026, they are looking to resurface east and west of Blairstown, as well as north of Belle Plaine. Various bridge and culvert work is also planned for that year. In 2027, they are considering resurfacing south of Norway and north of Watkins.

Parizek said this is basically taking proposed work from last year’s plan and moving some of them around, plus adding additional bridges and roadway work.

No action was taken on this. There was discussion on how much federal money there will be in coming years.

Other business

Mona Onken of Social Services met with the board regarding an employee status change for Lindsay Upah. Upah has accepted a position at UnityPoint, and wants to go to part-time status with the access center. They are also looking to get a full-time access center manager. Sarah Wagner also went over the MH/DD and Relief budget amendment requests.

A land use hearing was set for Casey Bowman for land in Parcel A, Section 1, Iowa Township, for Tuesday, May 10, 9:15 a.m.

A land use hearing was set for Brock and Erin Munson for land in Parcel A, Section 16, Benton Township, for Tuesday, May 10, at 9:30 a.m.

A land use hearing was held for Ryan and Karlee Kasal for land in Section 30, Big Grove Township. They want to use one acre for a rural residence. It is on a site of a house that had burned down. The site is not in production. He also reviewed the driveway, septic system, water, and use of surrounding properties. This is redeveloping of an old farmstead without taking land out of production. A neighbor had concerns about rows of trees whose debris affect his farmland.

The first reading was approved for Ordinance No. 77 and repeal of Ordinance No. 76, regarding Benton County Precincts.

Employee evaluations were tabled for Ben Turnis of information technology, Land Use Administrator and Sanitarian Marc Greenlee, and Maintenance Director Rick Wood. Chairman Tracy Seeman said he would do the evaluations himself. Seeman added he wanted more information on questions that he had.

Meeting on YouTube

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