The Gazette from Cedar Rapids, Iowa on November 1, 1953 · 23
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The Gazette from Cedar Rapids, Iowa · 23

Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Issue Date:
Sunday, November 1, 1953
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"Trxr tl V 'Cf ( S : K - Ais THE CEDAR RAPIDS GAZETTE: ' Sun., Nov. 1. 1953 F),t I vdfi i A ? v i -ft , i, i t-ji V4 tf '.? y'V :s Wv I i 1 r 'Xt'-Al f; ft T FT .A rfr; W Jsw j.y . - AJ r, jlf. i w KW V' v '" v t V . v- i k "iteV ? S T 3 '-- v , ' ' ,4Jtyi a- r ..... v. A. an ,lrf ft . ' - , . A HERE ARE THE ONLY TWO FARM HOMES in Benton county which are not on gravel. On the left is the residence of Ifred Lee, southeast of Norway. On the right is the farm home of John Martin, a short distance directly west of Vinton. Lee says he wants no part of gravel, would rather have dirt. His house is less than 80 rods from a gravel-surfaced road. Martin, at 79, believes now he would like to be on the gravel so he wouldn't have so much trouble in bad weather getting out for his mail. I ? t "' 3 .&& S8& A? A (.AwA1 V $ V : f Oasett Photos by John Reynolds PONDERING THE PROBLEMS AHEAD for a county which is virtually out ofthe mud today are members of the Benton county board of supervisors. Left to right are Glenn Detrick, Vinton farmer? Louis Cober-ly, Shellsburg farmer, and Board Chairman Oren Thompson, retired Blairstown farmer and REA president. - Only 2 Benton Houses Not on Gravel Roads && wgrs,', . By The Sunday Editor. VINTON A lot of Iowa farmers are still making loud noises around their respective county boards ofupervisors wishes' know n about getting out Of the, Next Step Blacktop 80 rods off the crave! and 1 never have any trouble getting to It. I dont like travel. 1 dont want that dust around. So tar, Farmer Alfred Lee has gotten his wish. In the case of 79-year-old Farmer John Martin, there seems to be some misunderstanding. The board of supervisors said last week in Vmton that Martin had told their representatives that he didn t want gravel But Martin told a Gaxette reporter that hed ,been misquoted and that he didnt mean to say no, if he dd Shy and retiring and not in good health, Farmer Martin said Ive lived here about 78 years and I think it s about time I cot the cravel. Kinda seems like its my turn. But I dont want to (push em. Id hate lasee them, have to take out the trees in front of the place there, jf theyd have to widen the road When a fellow has lived as long as I have in a place its home and he doesnt want it disturbed. On the other hand, when the road is bad I cant get my mail Representatives of the board of supervisors said that Martin could have had gravel as long ago as two years, had he made his .lilU f i-- k, - -o ( fr BENTON COUNTY HAS BUILT WELL, as it constructed its road system. And this river-tvpe bridge over Big Wolf creek in the county's northwest cornier is n -example. Bridge is 300 feet long. mud But the luxury of a gravel-sur- Dis ussing their road system and Us maintenance problem last faced road system that includes i week, members of the Benton all but two farms has led Benton countv board" of supervisors MORE THAN 23,000 CUBIC YARDS of earth will be moved into high-type grade approaches for the Big Wolf creek crossing in Benton county. Grade At the north end dwarfs car on its top. county to dieam of getting her farmers out of the dust . . . with a blacktop-surfacing program According to its assessor's office, Benton county ranks tenth in the state for the value of its agricultural farm land $73 31 per acre, including land and buildings This, together w ith the fart that It has spent wisely and built y P ' w i g S - . HERE IS AN EXAMPLE of the high-type grading which has been 'characteristic of so 'many of Benton county's fine roads. This grade has ust been finished, has not yeKbeen surfaced with gravel. But farm homes on this same road already are out of the mud. and on links of -the county's extensive surfaced joad- layout. well, has brought Benton county to the enviable out-of-the-mud position which she occupies day. But all that glitters is not gold With ill but 200 miles of her 1,225-mile road system surfaced with rock, Benton county is faced with high maintenance costs, in comparison with Its construction costs. In 1951 the county spent $350,000 and In 1952, $240,000 for crushed rock to sweeten up those roads. The 200-odd miles of roads which are not gravel-surfaced in the county are stubs here and there and only those two farm homes are on them of all farmsteads in the county. "No SirrNo Gravels" The two farm homes not on gravel in Benton county are those of Alfred Lee, southeast of Norway, and John Martin, west of Vinton. Lee, 67, says he wants no part of gravel I dont like it past my place I dont want it Ive lived here all my life and I want that road out there to stay just the way it is Lee, who told members of the board of supervisors he could raise quite a bit of corn on the land they would take for a standard gravel road right-of-way, told The Gazette last week that he himself graded the dirt road past his farm. I'm less than talked informally about blacktop There seemed to be a general agreement between Chairman Orfen Thompson, and Supervisors Louis Coberly and Glenn Detrick that blacktopping is the next logical step There is no on-the-board plan in that direction as yet. It Just seems to be a good thing to do Such a step would appear, from cursory investigation, to be wise because 1. It would cut down to- tenanre on roads 2 It would help hold what Benton county, already has 3 It is the next logical step in improvement What the cost of blacktopping is remains a question for the board They expect to study it, expect County Engineer Russell Helms to bring back some facts and figures from a meeting he soon will attend on the' subjec( Helms told the board last week he understood some surface treatment projects were being constructed presumably for something like $6,000 to $7,000 a mile The cost "would seem cheap compared to heavy-duty well continues Board and county en'gmecr are In agreement on that point Grading is carried along strict specifications Surfacing is done in the bume manner. Again this year the county probably will spend $300 000 for gravel In maintenance Bridge jobs reflect planning and careful execution Money-wise, Too. Money-wise planning has paid off in the past, will continue to do so, when the road system is a point at hand For instance There was considerable cry to rebuild the Cedar river bridge between Urbans and Shellsburg The bridge is old, was badly In need of repair Some years ago its load limit had been reduced from unlimited to five tons Rather than jump in head-first, the boardi on the recommendation of Engineer Hclmjj, elected to repair the bridge and thus increase the load limit from five to eight tons Something less than $5,000 was spent for the repaiis But Benton county tentatively plans to build a reserve fund from which it can in the future , Iwijd a new bridge over the river somewhere near the site of the present crossing. The new bridge would cost an estimated $400,090, would obligate the county available farm-to-mar-ket funds for more than three year in the future. The current years program is operating on a budget of $570,000 for construction, $413,000 for maintenance, $40 000 for road V I T&r r i 1 - rr r - COUNTY ENGINEER of Benton county i$ youthful Russell Helms, who has degrees in both civil and aeronautical engineering from Iowa State college. He directs a staff of 40 in the field, plus an office force of four1 or more. i record of the road program in built that year and eight major Benton county for the last three years In 1951, 35 miles of local roads were graded and surfaced at a cost of about $3 600 per mile Fourteen new local bridges were built and 10 major bridge repair jobs were completed In this.and other bridge maintenance work, a b o u tithe county spent $67,000 blacktopping costs of $20,000 a jjgo.OOO Ah f a r m - to - marketl Six bi ldges on 7arm-fo-marke mile which the board has agreed fur)cjs Tj,e figures ate estimated. 'roads were built and 13 miles of is too much Finding the best surfacing material for the least possible coat will be their biggest problem for the future. Until the year ends, the county cannot be sure exactly what po--tions will have been spent for what Transfers are possible As much as $300,000 may J trans- Supervisor Coberly said he be- ferred from construction to main- grading on these roads completed In 1952, 50 miles of loral roads were graded and 42 miles surfaced Costs dropped to $3,000 per mile because weather was repair jobs were finished. Construction and maintenance costs here fan to $73,000 Five farm-lo-market bridges were built and 11 miles of tbat class of roads were graded. fto cost figures are available on this years work because final computations have not .been made But finished and anticipat-edafe 4(TmtteSorTC8l grading, J 25'' miles of surfacing Nineteen new local bridges and 21 major repair and rebuilding bridge Jobs aie in the picture, live farm-to-maiket bridges were built. The county, as ever alert to future demands, has plans for 18 lieved the county had about a 1 tenance again pointing up the 'dry and 'grading simpler than to 20 miles of farm-to-market dozen miles of road now that high maintenance costs of the had been the case during the pre- grading and three farm-to-mar-could be surfaced immediately, leountys road system. Iviods yei. ket road bridge for the year another 18 miles is in the process Here aie some facts from thel Sixteen new local bridges were 1954 of b ) i Hiq h way 30 to Cedar Rapids Present Road' .201 ST. CLAIR. A 7 WP, i I ri y A, ' v zryy ' l NORWAY uj M i Proposed relocation 'of I hiqh way 201 -j T FLORENCE TW i Hr $ l d V . - VS- . Tip r f ' i- Jvr Ct ( OLD RIVER BRIDGE between Urban- and Shellsburg has been repaired and "the load limit raised, but plans for a new one will awaif setting up a reserve fund because a new bridge would cost an estimated $400,0(X). - - WALFORD a"'-- . - ' - ' - I- f - - .v.; -Hqhway 7 A , . J 149 -s' 4. ' jy BENTON COUNTY'S board of Supervisors ha$ its ear to the ground for such projects at the move'" to relocate 201 In the Norway.area and -provide one end of a cutoff route from highway 30 to highway 6, via Norway and highway 149 thrpugh the Amanas. -Map shows present route of 201 and proposed cutoff route. County plans to bring thtee and a quar-. ter miles of the road, from a point near Norway to .149, to a high-type grade, just in case the state .does relocate the 201 route. " ',. ' - being improved to the point where that stretch, too, could be blacktopped. Coberly also expressed himself as anxious to have the county embark on the blacktopping program as early as next year Members agreed that, once the plan is aired, there would be pressure from all corners of the county for blacktopping improvements and that great rare would have to be taken in planning any such program. Long-Term Project. Supervisors and particularly Coberly were quick to point out that Benton countys all-weather road system was not -something that happened overnight.- ' It began back as far as. 22 years ago, maybe more, Coberly said. He and others credited Merle Hall, former county engineer who held that position for many years, as 'being onrof the big contributors to the program. of ..his-tour. of duty as a county engineer m Benton county, was regarded as one of the best county "engineers in the state. He is still a resident of Vinton Arnos Melberg of Cedar Rapids was the first county engineer Benton county had. Melberg is now in private contracting business. I After Hall came James Todd and then Albert Bar tell, who died in February of this year. Helms,1 who now is Benton countys engineer, has been In that position since January. Halt and others but Hall particularly arfc credited with having "built wisely and well as they planned and built the Bentoh county road system."Nothlng was done poorly," one observer said last week. "Hall " insisted that thing! be done correctly. He laid the fonndation and it waa s broad, firm one, - Today, tha tradition of building Is everybody having fun... bufcyou? j Visit Arthur Murrays today and see how you, too,. & tan gaf mo r fun out1 of life Want good times galora, - mors fun thtn ever before? Then cdfne to Arthur - Murreys. Youll meet new . people, gain confidence end -grace, develop your dor-mant daddng ability, in k gay, congenial atmosphere. Thanks to Arthur Murrays famous discovery, "The Magic Step To Popularity," any danqe is etiy ts A-B-C to master. So come in now - and be all t for the best time of your life at your very next party. IIsWim AieCssJilwmd ARTHUR MURRAY SctioohJ-Bancmt) 119,2'Thifd1Ave7SE. Cedar Rapids, la. . Dial 3-9651 H , i ' ' ' ....

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