Storm caused road damage in the northern portion of Gem County has occupied a significant portion of the Gem County Road and Bridge Department’s time during June. With those repairs nearly complete, resources are now available to tackle the major paving and patching projects originally scheduled for this summer.
“We have a full slate that will keep us paving targeted areas for the next 35 work days,” department director Neal Capps said. “Once that is completed we already have another 25 days logged for early fall grading, patching and paving.
No single project is likely to dominate the department’s time. It will be a matter of spot work all over the county. Capps wants citizens to be aware that temporary road restrictions may pop up at any time and that patience and precaution is requested.
A new “Move Over” law went into affect July 1 with expanded enforcement and penalties for traffic violations in the areas of roadside emergency events. That expansion includes highway workers, not just emergency personnel, and Capps is hopeful the same courtesy will be observed for all construction and repair work on roadways.
“We ask the public to please slow down and allow extra space where workers are present,” Capps said. “Disruptions by aggressive drivers can only slow down our repair timetables and cost us all time and money, let alone unsafe working conditions for our employees.”
City of Emmett will be following nearly the same pattern as the county, though major focus will be on the completion of the Safe Route to School project. Construction is under way on 12th Street and will head east towards Gem Stone Way. This project is to install sidewalk on 12th St from S Johns Avenue towards Carberry Elementary School to improve safety for students walking to school and the walk-ability within the City of Emmett. Construction will continue taking place until the end of August 2019 in an effort to have project substantially completed before the start of Fall 2019/20 school year. A traffic control plan has been implemented; please follow the detour signs in the area.