Town of French Road Report – March 2021
1.) Introduction: 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.
2.) Goal: 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.
4.) Grading: 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. 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: Roads 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.
9.) Budget: The 2021 levy was set at $35,000. $30,000 for annual costs and $5,000 in escrow for future improvement projects.
10.) Maintenance Projects in 2020: The Town’s grader (and operator) were deployed throughout the year to maintain the gravel roads. Some of work completed throughout the year include 2 to 4 inch “spot” lifts with class 5 gravel, ditch and shoulder updates to the Mark Lake road, removal of overhead branches encroaching the right of ways, brush cutting , and mowing.
11.) Proposed projects for 2021: In May all Township roads will be inspected and projects proposed. Right of way to the Wilenius property will be established. 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.
Bruce Sandberg, Supervisor