By Tom Hintgen

Otter Tail County Correspondent

Keeping Otter Tail County’s 1,062 miles of roadway in safe conditions is the responsibility of the five-person Otter Tail County Board of Commissioners, working in conjunction with the county highway department headed by Charles Grotte.

Grotte informed commissioners on April 11 that the purchase of hot mix bituminous (for dense pavement layers) for 2023 totals $335,000, salt comes to $227,620 and the cost of roadway crack sealing amounts to $59,987.

The county board was also informed by Grotte about the status of roadway resurfacing, highway reconstruction and county bridge and culvert work.

Roadway resurfacing in the Perham area for Highways 8, 80 and 53 will begin Aug. 8 and be completed by September 2023. Henning area resurfacing of Highways 67 and 65 have been awarded to Northdale Construction Company. 

Highway 35 reconstruction in the Underwood area began in March and is scheduled for completion by June 2024.

Bids for the construction along Highway 54 between Ottertail and New York Mills opened April 5, with the low bidder being Robert R. Schroeder Construction, Inc.

The 2023 Highway 1 bridge repair over the Otter Tail River near Ottertail and over the Dead River at Walker Lake was awarded to Redstone Construction, LLC.

County residents who have attended public meetings in previous years have expressed their desire for their roadways and bridges to be maintained at the highest level.

An engineering section of the Otter Tail County Highway Department, headed by Grotte, is responsible for inspections, engineering design, and construction of highways and bridge projects. This section also provides technical support to other county departments.