Humboldt sups sign crossing agreement with Martin Marietta

DAKOTA CITY – The Humboldt County Board of Supervisors approved a crossing agreement with Martin Marietta Materials following a public hearing Monday.

The Pocahontas County Board of Supervisors will consider the agreement today.

Martin Marietta has requested an at-grade road crossing on County Road P19 about a mile north of Gilmore City. The road is on the Humboldt-Pocahontas county line. The company is opening up a pit on the east side of the road and wants to transport the rock across the road to the quarry on the west side for processing and sale.

The counties would assume no expense for the agreement. The agreement would be for a duration of 10 years unless terminated sooner.

Mark Johnson, Marietta Marietta district vice president, said the company is proposing locked gates at both ends of the crossing making it a controlled intersection.

“We have done all the preliminary sight distances” Johnson said. There is more than half a mile of sight distance in both directions and the trucks are 12 to 14 feet high, which increases the sight distance.

“We know that it takes our vehicles loaded approximately a little over nine seconds to cross that road,” he said.

“All of the liability lies upon Martin Marietta,” Johnson said. “Safety is of the utmost responsibility and goal.”

If the trucks track mud onto the roadway it would be cleaned up immediately, he said. If the trucks damage the roadway, repairs would be the company’s responsibility.

The vehicles are inspected regularly, the brakes and steering are inspected daily and the drivers are briefed daily, he said. If the road is icy or of the view is obstructed by fog, the trucks will not run.

County Engineer Paul Jacobson said several options have been looked at.

“The point of this agreement is that it would be all liability, all costs would be with Martin Marietta,” he said. “Their crossing, they have assured us, will not affect the general traveling public.”

County Attorney Jon Beaty said several months of work has gone into the agreement. Some design decisions still have to be made and Johnson will have to continue to meet with the engineers of both counties he said.

Johnson said a possible upgrade to that section of road, maintenance of the road and the possibility of placing slow vehicle warning signs are some details that still need to be worked out.

The crossing will not likely be in place this year, Johnson said.