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Published March 28, 2012, 04:38 PM

Crews Tearing Up Roads for Tolna Coulee Culvert Construction

(WDAZ-TV) - Crews were tearing out roads in Nelson County on Wednesday to install culverts as part of the Tolna Coulee. That construction will hopefully relieve some flooding issues, but is getting in the way of everyday life for rural residents.

By: Adam Ladwig, WDAZ

(WDAZ-TV) - Crews were tearing out roads in Nelson County on Wednesday to install culverts as part of the Tolna Coulee. That construction will hopefully relieve some flooding issues, but is getting in the way of everyday life for rural residents.

Rural residents say the construction causes problems for them, even though it's helping solve an even larger problem.

Crews have torn up the main county road in Nelson County to install culverts to for the Tolna Coulee outlet. It's blocked off as workers literally dig the road up and put it off to the side.

"The road now they just closed off last week. They figured it's gonna take them about two weeks to detour to get these steel culverts in that main county road here," Nelson County Commission chair Odell Flaagan said.

"I guess it's for the greater good, but the road construction has been a problem," Bob Engen said.

The project has isolated Tolna residents as roads all around the town are closed.

"But for the last two weeks, the detour now makes it quite a bit. You gotta go west and back around, so it's quite a bit further," Flaagan said.

Roads that are open are being pounded flat by constant use.

"It's pretty much a rock bed we're driving on right now, and it can't be helped. There's just a lot of traffic, a lot of heavy traffic that's moving over these roads. Traffic that we've never seen in this area before," Engen said.

Drivers who need to get somewhere are forced to travel at slower speeds. But with the outlet expected to remove 350 cubic feet of water per second from Devils Lake, the long term benefits should outweigh short term troubles.

"We're just hoping in the future now that this gets done and takes place that we do lose some water over it because it's been a disaster," Flaagan said.

Flaagan says road repairs will cost hundreds of thousands of dollars once construction crews leave the area.

He says he hopes to meet with the Governor's staff soon to try and get state aid for rural road repair in Nelson County.

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