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Bowman County commissioners are looking to local residents for some help with roads.

They’ll be sending out a letter to county residents, which will focus on getting their assistance in helping cut the need to repair paved and chip sealed roads.

At the commissioners’ meeting Aug. 18, the five members discussed the need to explain that a large portion of the county budget goes to constructing and maintaining the roads in the county.

The idea, the commissioners stressed, was to make the taxpayers aware of the cost

Some of the damage to the roads can be caused by weather, but other damage can be caused by heavy loads, machinery and farm equipment, some of which drive on the shoulder lines. Driving on the shoulder lines can break up the chip seal or the pavement. Damage can also happen when people enter the roadway from barrow ditches, the commissioners were told.

Cost has caused the county return several chip sealed roads back to gravel in an effort to cut expenditures, according to the county.

The estimated costs per mile of chip sealing can range from $50,000 to $90,000 for single chip seal or double chip seal. Sliver grading with a four-inch asphalt overlay would cost $800,000 per mile and just a four-inch asphalt overlay would cost $330,000 per mile.

There are costs for patching roads with cold mix ($112 per ton), not including the cost of equipment and labor. The cost of oil for Dura-Patching roads is $450 per ton plus freight costs from the city of Laurel in Montana.

According to the county, some of the damage is preventable and some of the costs to repair could be lessened if the county was notified quickly of damage to a roadway

According to a draft of the letter which will be send out, some of the suggestions the county will be asking for is people to use proper approaches, avoid driving on shoulder lines, and to be sure they have legal loads.

The stated intent of the letter will be to bring awareness to the problem and the need to report damage as quickly as possible to avoid further damage and costs.

The letter will be enclosed with the estimated tax statement mailed out by the end of the week, the county auditor said.

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