Speed limit reduced on Road 12 1/2

The Big Horn County commissioners, at their regular meeting Tuesday, June 4, approved a motion and later a resolution to set the speed limit on Road 12½ east of Lovell to 35 mph.

Commissioner Keith Grant, in the morning portion of the meeting, said he had been contacted by Patti Hutchinson of Lovell about safety concerns on the road. He said she told him there were a lot of kids who walk on the road.

The commissioners discussed whether to just post the normal 45 mph for all county gravel roads or reduce the speed. Engineer Willie Bridges said the road is a mile long off the east side of U.S. Highway 310 between Lanes 12 and 13. He said he didn’t know the traffic patterns.

“I’m guessing it’s heavy in the mornings and evenings as people go to and from work,” but it is a narrow road,” Bridges said. He added he was not opposed to 35 mph.

Grant then moved to reduce the speed limit to 35 mph. Bridges said he would prepare a resolution as required by state statute.

Hutchinson attended the meeting in the afternoon after the initial motion was made and brought a petition signed by residents on Road 12½ asking for speed limit signs. “It’s a straight road and it’s a racer heaven for school kids,” she said.

She said there are some young children on the road and another young lady will be walking her 4-H project lambs. She said she also walks her dogs along the road.

“I know speed signs won’t automatically make them hit the brakes, but it’s the first step and then possibly start prosecuting,” she said.

Hutchinson was pleased with the commission decision. Ewen said the sheriff’s office will be notified of the speed limit and encouraged residents to note license plate numbers of speeders so drivers could be contacted by the sheriff’s office.

Bridges said signs should be up in about a week.

Other issues

In other road issues at Tuesday’s meeting,

•Road and Bridge Foreman Shannan Hovey said a culvert at Lane 38 and 10 was scheduled to be replaced this fall, but it collapsed and had to be replaced the previous week.

•Bridges presented a resolution authorizing him to apply for an industrial road grant from the Wyoming Department of Transportation for Road 7½.

Bridges then turned his attention to his current budget. He said he is going to be short. He said he was not checking the budget updated report.

“It appears the benefit line item was underfunded,” he said. The benefit line item was underfunded with several departments. The budget line item will be short by $9,400.

The other shortage is in engineering fees, which come from inspection fees for land planning inspection, which puts them over by about $3,000.

“Quite frankly I’m embarrassed. I didn’t follow through. My time through the rest of this month will be donated because we didn’t watch the budget,” Bridges said.

•Peggy Werbelow said the culvert on the Greybull Cemetery Road is too high and her oil pan of her van drags on the ground. “It should be lowered at least a foot,” she said.

Bridges said he went and looked at it earlier in the day. “The pipe could be lowered some, but there’s no definitive ditch line and the water coming down is mostly seepage from up above. He said the reason the pipe was installed by road and bridge is because water was pooling up.

He said the road was raised some and they can lower it about six inches.

Ewen said the county cannot improve the approach on Werbelow’s property. Bridges said Werbelow would need some additional gravel and possibly a catch ditch on the west side.

“We’ll lower the pipe and get it as low as possible,” Bridges said.

By Karla Pomeroy