(Le Mars) — With spring arriving, that can often mean our secondary gravel roads need work, and sometimes those gravel roads become too soft for large trucks and farm equipment to travel. Plymouth County Engineer Tom Rohe recently informed the Plymouth County Board of Supervisors that gravel is becoming difficult to locate, and consequently the price has risen sharply during the last five years. Rohe says, so far, for the start of this spring our rural roads are holding up well, and are in good condition.
Rohe talks about the gravel sources for Plymouth County.
The county engineer says alternatives for gravel may also be hard to come by, and in short supply.
Rohe says the cost for gravel on a per ton basis has nearly doubled in recent years.
Rohe says many times the transportation costs to haul the gravel is equal to the cost of the material. He offers an estimate as to how much gravel Plymouth County uses during a year’s time.
Rohe says it could be sometime in the future, the county may need to haul the needed gravel by rail, which would mean even higher costs for obtaining gravel for the county’s rural roads.