Town of French Road Report – March 2020
There are 10.3 miles of gravel roads and 0.7 miles of paved roads administered by the Town of French. Some of these roads provide primary access to properties, while others see more recreational use.
The goal of the Town Board is to provide a safe and relatively smooth driving surface, while maintaining the rural characteristics of the local road system.
3. Road Inventory
Gravel Roads – Primary purpose is access to properties:
Bay City Road – 0.5 mi. Boldt Road – 0.6 mi Erickson Road – 0.3 mi.
Jaranson Road – 0.5 mi. Libke Road – 0.5 mi. Mark Lake Road – 0.6 mi.
Pine Tree Road – 1.1 mi. Sellars Road – 0.8 mi. Sunset Lane – 0.4 mi.
Trestle Lake Road – 0.5 mi. Luna Lake Rd. – 1 mi.
Gravel Roads – Primary use is recreational in nature:
Dean Road – 1.0 mi. McCarthy Beach Road – 1.5 mi.
Snake Trail – 1.0 mi. (Double-Lane Forest Road)
Belschner Road – 0.7 mi.
The township owns a grader and hires an operator to grade several of the gravel roads that serve as access to properties.
5. Calcium Chloride:
The Township began a program of applying chloride to the gravel roads in 1997. This treatment helps to keep the “fines” intact on the roadway and reduces dust during the summer months, prolonging the useful lifetime of the surface. After experimenting with a polymer-based product, we are going back to calcium chloride.
6. Roadside Mowing:
The roadsides are mowed by a contractor during July or August most years (note: the roadside mowing was not done in 2013). This maintenance improves visibility and guards against the establishment of stands of brush and tree species within 8 feet of roadway edges.
7. Gravel / Ditching / Culverts:
Road are prioritized annually for maintenance projects. A contractor is hired to replace culverts, ditch, and haul gravel. The Township grader is used in conjunction with private equipment during these improvement projects. The Township owns a stockpile of gravel at the Steve Johnson gravel pit.
8. Snow Removal:
The Township contracts with St. Louis County to provide snow removal services on all roads.
The 2020 levy was set at $35,000: $30,000 for annual costs and $5,000 in escrow for future improvement projects.
10. Maintenance Projects in 2019:
The Town’s grader (and operator) were deployed throughout the year to maintain the gravel roads. Approximately $13,000 worth of work was completed throughout the year. The work included 2 to 4 inch “spot” lifts with class 5 gravel, a culvert replaced on Jaranson Road and one installed on the Sellars Road, shouldering on the Belschner Road, stump removal, brush cutting, and mowing. The Bay City Road extension has been put on hold until alternate access solutions have been exhausted.
11. Proposed projects for 2020:
In May, all Township roads will be inspected and projects proposed. A new schedule to provide gravel lifts and grading of Township Roads will be reviewed. We will contract roadside mowing. Review and placement of road signs will be an ongoing project. Right of ways will also be reviewed. There is enough class 5 left in the pile for the upcoming year.