CASS COUNTY – The Cass County Board of Supervisors will consider a resolution to change the speed limit on 620th Street (or south Olive Street) from Lansing Road to Oxford Road to 40 mile per hour, following concerns about safely navigating the road since a new quarry began operations in the area. The speed limit is currently 55 miles per hour and the resolution will also include adding safety signage. The board hopes to consider the resolution during its next meeting.
During a previous meeting, three individuals, Dale Retallic, Daryl Karstens and Doug Shepherd, spoke to the board about safety concerns including an increase of dust coming off the roadway and noise from the quarry. But navigating the road seemed to be the biggest concern, especially with trucks meeting large farming equipment.
Cass County Engineer Trent Wolken originally suggested having a 45 mile per hour speed limit from the Atlantic City Limits to Lansing Road, and adding farm entrance signs with lights in different roads around the quarry. He said an especially tricky place is near 595th Street and Lansing Road because there is a “blind corner” there.
Board member Steve Green said he thought the reduced speed limit should extend to Memphis and Oxford Roads since they have steep hills as well
“There’s some steep hills, (it’s like) a roller coaster thing,” Green said.
Green also thought the limit should be 40 miles per hour because when people drive they are likely to be somewhere between the speed limit and five miles faster then it is set.
Board member Frank Waters said one concern was whether or not the speed limit could be enforced.
“I would rather see it 40, but I don’t know that we can enforce that,” Waters said.”The sheriff can not leave a man sitting there all day long. It’s just going to be hard to enforce.”
Waters also wondered if the board was “opening up a can of worms,” because changing the speed limit could lead to other people asking for changes in the speed limit on their road.
Board Chairman Steve Baier said he thought that was a good point, but also said he thought the number of trucks that would be driving on the road on a daily basis was a good reason to consider the change.
“I think that’s a good point,” Baier said. “I think that’s one reason why the traffic count, the number of trucks on an almost daily basis (using the road) is the factor here that’s different from ‘by my house’ or ‘by your house.’”
Green and Board member Mark O’Brien sat in on a meeting with officials from Schildberg Construction Company, who oversees the quarry, about these concerns, and they said that officials there were “willing to do (whatever the county) needed (to make the roads safe).”
There seemed to be a consensus between the board members to consider changing the limit to 40 mile per hour from the Atlantic City Limits to Oxford Road, and they hoped the resolution could be put on the next agenda.
Baier said during a previous meeting that he thought it was important to get this issue resolved as producers would be out in the field harvesting soon, and he made that point again on Tuesday.
“We’ve got this situation to deal with now,” he said. “We’ve got increased large slow equipment (using the road) during harvest coming up very soon. We need to focus on what we can do right now.”