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Diverted trucks spark concerns

July 11, 2012
Jenn Brookens - Staff Writer , Fairmont Sentinel

FAIRMONT - The closing of an Interstate 90 exit in western Fairmont has brought more truck traffic into town, even though the designated detour is from Welcome to County Road 26.

Some residents have expressed concerns about trucks going through Fairmont and ruining the streets.

"We have heard complaints about North North Avenue and use of some of the gravels," said Martin County Engineer Kevin Peyman. "There is only one official detour, but people do choose other routes. But as long as it's a designated truck route, there's not much that can be done unless we drop the weight limit. But if we do that, that closes it off to all truck traffic."

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BUSY?STRETCH?— Trucks travel along County Road 39 in western Fairmont. Work on the road has sent the trucks onto alternate routes through town, sparking some concerns about wear and tear on the streets.

It's a different story if a semi strays onto a route not designated for trucks.

"[They can't drive on] non-truck routes that are rated under 10 tons," Peyman said. "And if they're driving there, they can be cited."

At present, no significant damage has been reported from the extra truck traffic.

"There is a fair amount of truck traffic anyway, and the good news is that the truck traffic is being divided up; it's not all going over to one route," Peyman noted.

He added that while any damage to gravel roads is easy to recognize, damage to other roads may not show up right away.

"There could already be problem spots, and the extra traffic could be speeding up the process," he said. "But it's been dry enough that we're not seeing a lot of problems."

The weather also has helped the first leg of the County Road 39 project get ahead of schedule.

"We expect everything will be opened up again by the end of July," Peyman said. "The latest day they have is Aug. 3, and they'll have no problem meeting that. The only problem they've seen is the heat, because you can't pour concrete when the heat is higher than 90 degrees. So last week they would have to finish up by 1 p.m."

Once the northern portion of the project area is complete, there will be no more road work until after the Martin County Fair.

The second portion of the County Road 39 project includes the stretch from the intersection of county roads 26 and 39 to the railroad tracks. The intersection of the two county roads will be redone this fall, but will remain open to traffic.



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