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by Caroline Downs

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What can Sixth Street become?

Posted 9/03/13 (Tue)

Admit it.

You’ve cursed the ruts, dips, potholes and/or broken pavement on Ward County Road 2 through Kenmare more than once during the past three years.

That road, also known as Sixth Street, has to be the most heavily-used road through town.

At least, some of the heaviest equipment around town drives there, including semi-trucks and trailers, combines and sprayers.

Some of the lightest traffic in town uses the road, too, like children riding bicycles and mothers pushing strollers.

The roadway seems wider on the east end and narrower down the west hill, although my perception may be wrong because no  shoulder exists on the western segment.

I’m no engineer, but it’s safe to assume safety and traffic flow are major concerns for that street.

Now, engineers are ready to listen to your concerns about Ward County Road 2. In fact, County Engineer Dana Larsen and Moore Engineering engineers Brock Storrusten, David Roedel and Byron Glenn are soliciting your concerns--and your ideas--about the road with a public meeting scheduled for next Wednesday, September 11th, at 7 pm.

Granted, no money has been allocated for the project yet, but much state and federal funding now require that a plan and design be prepared before a project is approved for funding.

Granted, I’ve covered two other meetings during the past 10 years when Larsen talked with Kenmare city officials about a project to address drainage concerns along that road--and not one shovelful of dirt was moved in response.

However, no engineering firms were involved before.

This time, Larsen and Storrusten invite the public to share ideas for the road.

To create a vision of the road, if you will, as Kenmare’s main thoroughfare.

They want input on everything from the road’s width, lanes and surface to the whole appearance, complete with whatever other features the community would like to see installed.

(The ideas are supposed to come from YOU, but I like the idea of sidewalks for kids and mothers to use.)

Kenmare city council member Tori Kling made a good suggestion when she asked residents to think about all the other towns they drive through and what they do and don’t like about those main roads through communities.

If you have ideas or images in your mind of what Ward County 2 can become for Kenmare, next Wednesday is the time to share it. Storrusten and Larsen emphasized the meeting is for EVERYBODY from the implement dealers who transport farm equipment along that street to the households with children walking or biking the road.

Larsen said if a plan and design can be in place by February, the project can be bid as money becomes available. Commissioner John Fjeldahl said the road has become a priority for Ward County at this point.

Now, citizens of Kenmare can make the road a priority, too. Go to the meeting September 11th.