Creating a path in the snow

Some roads are paved with gravel and others with blacktop, and they don’t seem to be created equally or with the same amount of detail, but when it comes to snow removal in Dunn County,ND, all the county roads are treated equally. 

114th Avenue Southwest off Highway 200 is a road paved with gravel in the rural part of the county, but it isn’t a road to nowhere.

“Right now there is a lot of farmers and ranchers. There is a lot of oil field workers. There are people from town who live out in the country,” said Cody Buehner, Dunn County road worker.

Buehner also said there are days when this road becomes a regular highway.

“Its busy. They have done tests out here. There are about 1,000 vehicles a day”.

Dunn County has a population a little more than 4,000 people, and most of them live in the rural outskirts, so on days after a heavy snowfall, Buehner brings out his blade and removes the snow on this country road.

“People wouldn’t be able to get to town. People wouldn’t be able to drive on them(gravel roads) cause of snow and ice,” said Buehner.

Buehner said the purpose of using a blade on a country road is it allows the road workers to scrape ice and compacted snow off the ground, that they wouldn’t be able to do with a regular snow plow.

“They(regular snow plow) can help move the snow, but they can’t do what I’m doing . . . cutting the ice off, because of the downward pressure,” said Buehner.

The Dunn County road worker also said someone wouldn’t want to use a blade on a regular road.

“The cutting edges on the blade could very easily damage the blacktop roads,” said Buehner.

And with every vehicle that passes him on this 30 degree day, he feels his work is appreciated

The Dunn County Road Department has 15 blades to remove snow from the more than 1,000 miles of unpaved, gravel roads,  and three plow trucks to remove snow from the 50 miles of paved roads.

 

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