Roadblocks erected near an eroding and collapsing section of 190th Rd. between Marion and Hillsboro are to keep motorists safe from potential danger, but some drivers are ignoring the barricades and the hazard.
Road and bridge superintendent Jesse Hamm confirmed that the road is still closed, as it has been since August 2016, but people have been moving the barricades or just driving around them in the ditches.
“We’ve been struggling trying to keep the barricades in place and stop people from going through,” Hamm said. “It’s a safety concern because there is not a whole lot supporting the road [under the south side of the bridge on its east-bound lane.] If the bridge did ever collapse, it could possibly all just go at once. I’d feel horrible if someone were to get hurt.”
He said the barricades are checked every day and about every day, and regularly have to be moved back into their proper position.
The problem of drivers disregarding barricades is not just specific to 190th Rd. closure, Hamm said.
“It happened pretty much every time we put up a road block,” he said. “It doesn’t matter what part of the county it’s in.”
County Sheriff Robert Craft anyone caught going through the barricades could be cited and face a fine.
Casey Case of Case and Son Insurance said that he was about 90-percent certain that an insurance company would cover an accident even if the driver were on a road that was clearly marched as closed.
“I’m about 90-percent certain that you would still be covered,” Case said. “At insurance school they say,’ there is no stupidity clause built into your insurance,’ but if you start claiming too many times in a short amount of time you’ll be looking for a new insurance provider.”
Having received a grant to repair 190th Rd., Hamm said design specifics would be finalized by mid-February at the latest.
Repairs are slated to be complete by June 1, he said
“It has taken more time than I expected, but at least now, we are starting to see something get done,” Hamm said.