• Last modified 1055 days ago (Aug. 26, 2021)


Construction, train stall morning drive

Staff writer

Construction and a backed up train derailed commuters on their way to work Monday morning, but many hope the trouble will be short-lived.

County commissioner David Mueller also was delayed when a Union Pacific train cut off a route around road work on 330th and 290th Rds. near Tampa.

“The main problem was a Union Pacific train was blocking the tracks,” he said.

The railroad has received a steady stream of complaints for blocking a roadway near Ramona for hours.

County commissioners sent a letter in early July demanding Union Pacific pay $31,000 for road improvement to allow traffic to bypass the crossing.

“So now what they are doing is backing up their trains a mile west and stopping them there,” Mueller said.

Mueller already has contacted the railroad.

“Everybody wants to think the county is dysfunctional,” he said. “But it’s not.”

Steve Hudson, road and bridge superintendent with the county, said work on the road base on 330th is finished and workers were shaping the crown.

“After that, we can clean it off, dress the shoulders, and shoot oil on top of it,” he said. “After that, we will put down two layers of chip seal, and it will look exactly like Nighthawk.”

Work on 290th is more complicated because its culverts were heavily damaged by floodwaters. They are being replaced.

Hudson didn’t want to give a timeline for the completion of either project.

“The minute I do, something will happen,” he said.

Nathan Brunner, Ramona’s fire chief, said construction work might cause some delays for first responders, but he was willing to be patient.

“We need to give the road and bridge department some time to get the roads fixed,” he said. “It’s a long-term goal, with a minor inconvenience of time and rerouting.”

Last modified Aug. 26, 2021