Ferguson Blacktop on top of summer projects list

The ride on county road E-63 from Highway 14 to Highway 146 is expected to be smoother after this summer.

An asphalt project for the stretch of road, also known as the Ferguson Blacktop, is slated for this summer.

Marshall County Engineer Paul Geilenfeldt said the age of the road and wear and tear has led to it being on the top of the list for new asphalt. Geilenfeldt updated the Board of Supervisors on his plans during a meeting Tuesday.

The road, southeast of Marshalltown, goes past Ferguson and is utilized by heavy trucks going to the nearby Pickering Co-op facility.

“That’s such a highly-traveled road,” said Supervisor Denny Grabenbauer.

Another summer asphalt project is expected at Iowa Avenue from Parker Avenue to Highway 30 west of Marshalltown.

In other discussion, Supervisors Chair Dave Thompson said it appears nothing will be done this legislative session on a potential gas tax to help pay to repair deteriorating bridges and roads in the state. Geilenfeldt is a proponent of the gas tax as he sees plenty of needs for bridge and road repairs in the future for Marshall County.

“We can make things work where we’re at, but the fuel tax definitely needs to happen,” Geilenfeldt said. “It’s one of those deals where slowly we’ll start noticing that we can’t replace bridges on the schedule that we really need to.”

He said this would lead to the closing of more bridges across the county. Geilenfeldt said they are fine with road salt supply this winter, but will need to replenish it a little bit this summer for the next winter.