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St. Louis County: Spring-like conditions cause gravel roads to deteriorate

Submitted / St. Louis County

By Dana Kazel

Road conditions that are more typical for April during spring thaw are happening now in December on St. Louis County roads. Excessive rain and warm temperatures are deteriorating gravel roads, and Public Works is limited in what it can do to make repairs.

When the ground is soft, the weight of heavy maintenance equipment and trucks could cause more harm than good on the gravel road network. "We're as frustrated as anyone by the current condition of our gravel roads," said Brian Boder, St. Louis County Deputy Director of Public Works. "Our team takes a lot of pride in maintaining good roads, but Mother Nature has tied our hands a bit. Sending out equipment now can actually make road conditions worse. We ask people to please be patient while Public Works attempts to repair the damage."

Public Works crews continue to monitor road conditions and are making repairs when able. Several days of dry weather are needed before motor graders can be deployed to attempt repairs.

"Many gravel roads are in bad condition right now," said Boder. "We'll do our best to repair as many as possible in whatever window of opportunity we can get. Ideally, we need a few dry days and temperatures above freezing to smooth things out before the ground refreezes or we see significant snowfall."

Anyone encountering unsafe road conditions can report them by calling 911.

St. Louis County Public Works is responsible for maintaining 3,000 miles of roads, approximately half of which are gravel. To learn more, visit



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