Lehigh leaders seek to close street crevice

LEHIGH – A long crevice that has opened in Pleasant Street has Lehigh officials scrambling for solutions.

Mayor Paula Martin said Tuesday evening that the crack has grown about 25 feet in two days. It appears to be about 50 feet long.

”It’s a longer area to worry about,” Martin said.

The crack in the road isn’t the only problem in that area. A hillside on the east side of the street is eroding and an abandoned trailer home at the top of the hill has shifted.

The City Council voted unanimously Tuesday evening to ask MER Engineering Inc., of Fort Dodge, for advice on the problem. Martin said she hopes an engineer will be able to examine the street this week.

A solution apparently can’t come soon enough for Don Rowley, who lives on Pleasant Street, close to the problem spot.

”I’ve heard enough,” he told the council.

”If you cobble it, fix it the following year when it falls apart again,” he loudly told the council before quickly leaving the room.

Martin said she talked with Webster County officials and determined that the road is in the city limits.

The mayor said there appears to be two options: completely rebuilding the street at an estimated cost of $250,000 or using clay and rock to repair it.

She added that if the repairs will cost $25,000 or less, the work can begin soon.

City Attorney Mike Tungesvik asked the elected officials to consider both short-term and long-term repairs. He also recommended getting a land survey of the site.