Work on Farley Road won’t resume until summer. By that time, Dubuque County “might” have a permanent county engineer, said supervisor Daryl Klein.
Delaware County engineer Anthony Bardgett has been serving as interim Dubuque County engineer.
One of Farley Road’s many problems is that incorrect initial surveying resulted in plans with too steep a slope. “This road is too wide for the right-of-way we’re trying to stick it into,” Klein said.
Last week, the county faced a choice: redesign the project and buy out the current contract or continue with current plans, buying right-of-way to widen the slope and looking for exceptions where a cemetery and buildings come close to the road. “This is a mess,” Bardgett acknowledged.
The current condition of the Farley-to-Cascade road could be described similarly. “The road right now is a bugger to get through,” said Dubuque County supervisor Tom Hancock.
Bardgett said Farley Road reminds him of county gravels with frost bulge. “The road is just a sponge,” he said. “You wouldn’t put paving on top of a sponge.”
County officials last week chose to continue with current plans and purchase more right-of-way to finish the southern three miles of the project. More right-of-way will also need to be purchased on northern sections that are further along in construction.
Regardless, residents along the road are looking at another year of roadwork.
And Dubuque County is looking at a five-year road plan that is probably overly optimistic.
“Is this realistic?” asked supervisor Daryl Klein at a work session April 2 .
“No,” Bardgett replied.
“So we got to start pulling stuff off,” Klein said.
Bardgett agreed, saying that when he began as Delaware County engineer, the plan was “overloaded” with more projects than staff or funding could complete.
“People get their hopes up,” said county supervisor Wayne Demmer, adding that the Herber Bridge has been listed on the five-year plan for decades.
“It makes a joke of the five-year plan,” Bardgett said.