Road & Bridge Staff
The Boundary County Road & Bridge road crew is comprised of 11 heavy equipment operators who operate road construction equipment in the summer, including graders, dozers, excavators, backhoes, chip spreaders, rollers and dump trucks. For organizational purposes, the county road system is divided into five geographical areas, with one road grader specifically assigned to each to perform maintenance during three maintenance seasons and, joined by one plow truck, to plow snow in the winter.
Six personnel work on the "other" side, usually doing drainage or bridge-culvert work using county-owned excavation equipment. Whether the work involves slope stabilization, culvert installation or road reconstruction, it is usually necessary for part of this crew to drive the trucks to haul in gravel or other materials needed, and for part of the crew to flag traffic to ensure the safety of both motorists and work crews. Larger projects are usually started after the grading season ends, making more personnel available.
The current road crew represents a broad cross-section of construction experience, and many of our personnel have worked for and with local contractors building bridges and roads, doing utility work, stream-course and drainage work, concrete and asphalt projects and work for federal and state agencies. This allows Boundary County Road and Bridge to perform tasks that are outside the scope of many local jurisdictions, particularly major road construction projects, large drainage systems and heavy bridge repair and maintenance.
Boundary County also operates two portable rock crushers operated by three personnel, producing angular road-base material and crushed surface gravel for road construction and maintenance. Other products produced by the crusher crew includes rip-rap for slope stabilization, drain rock for sub-surface work and 5/8-inch screened chips for asphalt production and chip sealing. In addition, the crusher crew operates a pugg mill, mixing oil and rock to produce cold-mix asphalt. In 1999, the crusher crew began producing a high-grade chip product for the first time, from which clay and fine rock particles have been removed. This allows road crews to apply a superior chip-seal surface to hard-surfaced county roads that provides improved traction, uses less oil and produces less dust. Material rejected during the cleaning process is saved and used to sand icy and snow covered winter roads, as this material provides better traction and lasts longer than regular sand.
The Boundary County Maintenance Shop is staffed by one supervisor and four master mechanics who maintain the Road and Bridge fleet of over 60 vehicles, but vehicles and equipment owned and used by other county departments, including the Sheriffs Office, Parks and Recreation, the Solid Waste Department, county maintenance and weed control.
The shop crew is one of the most creative elements of the road and bridge department, being called upon to find novel solutions to many problems. In addition to being exceptional mechanics, they are also skilled in fabrication, and have built everything from truck sanding units to snowplows from scratch. They also build structural members for bridges, extend truck frames and build interesting things to mount to the trucks, including water tanks and oil distribution systems. The shop crew makes all the hydraulic hoses used by the county, and use machine tools including lathes, milling machines, a plasma cutter and specialized welding equipment to make parts or tools that would cost a fortune if purchased through regular suppliers.
Helping keep everyone operating in harmony is the Road and Bridge Office manager, who is irreplaceable! Renee Nelson serves as dispatcher, office administrator, cook and "keeper of knowledge!" If you have any questions about Boundary County Road and Bridge, she's the person to contact during regular operating hours.