February 26, 2009

County hopes state takes 21

About five years ago, it cost Mercer County $100,000-125,000 per mile to completely overlay a highway such as County Highway 21, which runs north of Beulah for about 10 miles from its intersection with State Highway 200 to State Highway 1806.

That’s chump change.

Now, that estimate is at $250,000 per mile, according to Steve Mamer of Interstate Engineering. That leaves a 10-mile overlay project estimated to cost a cool $2.5 million.

For primarily this reason, the Mercer County Commission drafted a letter to Gov. John Hoeven’s office requesting County 21 be placed on the State Highway System.

In a letter stating the county’s case, it was noted the highway directly serves Dakota Gasification Company’s Great Plains Synfuels Plant – the largest employer in the county, Basin Electric’s Antelope Valley Station and The Coteau Properties Mine – the county’s second largest employer.

"The board is also of the opinion that there are few 10-mile stretches of the State Highway System that contribute more economic benefit to the state than this county highway does," the letter stated.

The letter also cited the high volume of workers that travel the highway on their commute to and from work from outside Mercer County each day.

The Weather Network