Spring road restrictions are in effect in Stevens County. Roads have been posted for 10, nine, seven and five ton use.
The weight restrictions will vary according to the structure and type of road, said county highway engineer Todd Larson.
For example, "all of our gravel roads are five ton," Larson said. Stevens County Road 10 has two different weight restrictions, he said. The road is seven tons from Pope County to Stevens County Road 1 and after County Road 1 all the way to Morris, it's nine tons, Larson said.
Drivers need to pay attention to weight restrictions because excess weight can damage roads, Larson said. Because the road bases are soft, they lose their capacity to handle heavy loads, he said.
"For the most part people are pretty conscientious about it," Larson said of following weight restrictions.
Spring also brings challenges to the upkeep of gravel roads. Gravel roads can get mushy when the snow melts and with any spring rain.
"When it's this soft, for us to grade it, that just makes a sloppy mess," Larson said.
The county won't be hauling gravel to any gravel roads soon, he said. "Right now our gravel source is probably not accessible," Larson said of the gravel pit.
Larson said he hadn't been able to check gravel roads himself on March 20. In a follow-up email to the Stevens County Times, Larson said that. "I did talk to Bryan (Tolifson, maintenance supervisor) this morning and he said that he has been out checking them and has our two Chokio motor graders out pushing back some snow banks and peeling off some ice and slush that was compacted on the gravel roads from last Thursday's blizzard in that corner of the county."