|Canyon Road in Ferron has suffered some damage due to truck traffic.|
At the recent Ferron City Council meeting, Bob Pierce from Nielson Construction and Darrel Leamaster from Castle Valley Special Service District were there to discuss the responsibility of repairs to Canyon Road. During the past few years, Nielson's has been running gravel trucks into their gravel pit near Millsite Golf Course. The trucks travel Mill Road to 800 West and along Canyon Road to State Street.
When the trucks are loaded leaving the pit, the weight of the truck exceeds the road capacities in the city of Ferron. The outbound lanes are becoming very rutted in spots, having been repaired in others four years ago. At that time, the cost for the repairs was split evenly between Nielson's, Ferron City and the Castle Valley Special Service District. This arrangement was made per verbal agreements between Ferron City's mayor at the time, Nielson Construction and the special service district.
Now, four years later, there is no agreement, and the encroachment permit has not been signed by Nielson's due to being overlooked by Ferron City. They did not send a renewal for a signature. This encroachment permit states that Nielson's must be bonded for any damage to the city streets in Ferron due to the truck traffic.
Leamaster said, "The roads in Ferron were not designed for this kind of traffic on a constant basis. One truck loaded with gravel wears on the road as would 1,000 cars. The portions of the road that were not repaired in 2003 are failing now. Our board has not discussed this, but I feel that the road needs more than an overlay." The portion that is failing is approximately one block.
Councilman Rod Toomer said, "I don't like verbal agreements and would like to see something in writing. I think with the oversight on our part concerning the encroachment permit, Nielson's should not be held solely responsible."
The discussion turned to the encroachment permit signed in 2004. This permit was only temporary and does not remain in effect. With new administration and employees, no one knows the reasons why a renewal for a permanent permit was not sent out. Nielson's is willing to sign a permit immediately, and the requirements in that permit state that they will be bonded for $300,000 to cover any repairs in the future.
At the onset of Nielson's taking gravel from this pit, they tried to obtain the right of way to use an alternate route into the pit. When that approach did not materialize, they had no option but to use Ferron City streets. Eric Luke of Nielson's said he does not feel Nielson's is solely responsible because of the way the roads were built.
The decision was made for Nielson's to submit a cost estimate of the repairs and the parties will continue discussion of responsibility. At that time, Nielson's will sign the new encroachment permit.
Councilman Randy Fox complimented Nielson's for the courtesy of the drivers as they are traveling through Ferron. "I think they are doing a great job of observing the speed limits and being courteous to other drivers."