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Unit system switch goes smoothly

Despite the rains earlier this week, County Engineer Darren Capps said the first workweek under the unit system went well for road crews.

Monday, road department crews reported to their new assignments.

“Our first day, which was Monday, it was raining and really not a good day to start,” Capps said. “There was not much accomplished as far as the roads went, which was rather embarrassing. The next day, it was too wet to do any grading, so we did some housekeeping things.

“By Wednesday, we were pretty much back to normal,” he said. “Thursday was our first full blown day with people being in their respective areas, doing what they are supposed to be doing.”

Capps said things are beginning to “catch on.”

“We’re making a few adjustments here and there,” he said. “We’re trying to keep our dump trucks going all the time, so there’s no down time between jobs. It takes more coordination and more communication, but I believe in the end it will come down to more productivity.

“It’s the same thing with the graders,” he said. “Our guys are reporting directly to the work site each morning, and that’s going well.”

Crews are “scattered” throughout the county, working on numerous projects, Capps said.

“We’re finishing up the paving job on McDaniel Road above Opp,” he said. “We’ve got light maintenance crews working on putting rock in ditches. In the northwest section, we’re stockpiling rock for FEMA work in River Falls. In the southeast portion, we’re working on County Road 89.

“And of course, we’re still doing work orders — driveways and pipes and such,” he said. “I know the roads will need grading after all this rain, but I just ask that people be patient. Call us and we’ll get out there as soon as possible.”

The county engineer’s office now has a new toll-free number — 1-877-895-2620.