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By Ed Moreth 

Work begins on Plains street


Ed Moreth

STARTING AT THE WORST – Josh Meuchel of Traver's Excavation Services, Inc., removes asphalt from McGowan Street as part of repair work being done on Farmer Street. To the left is Ben Traver, who is checking out the depth of the hole.

Work to get the roads of Plains fixed began last week with Farmer Street, considered the worst of the 12.5 miles of town streets.

The crew of Traver's Excavators Service, Inc., of Thompson Falls began work on Monday installing a storm drain near the intersection of Farmer and McGowan Streets. Ben Travers, the company owner, and his crew, Josh Meuchel and James Warner, dug a five-foot deep ditch that went for about 30 feet to install two concrete catch basins, which will have grated manhole covers on them. The crew cut a trench across McGowan Street about 45 feet further, where another catch basin with a solid cover was installed. The entire storm drain is about 150 feet long, said Travers, who started his company in 2002 and does jobs throughout Sanders County. The basins will direct water to an underground drain field on the other side McGowan Street. Workers finished the trench work on Friday and did some asphalt patching this week.

Farmer Street was often a miniature lake after heavy rainfall or after a major snowmelt. It is the first street that was supposed to be repaired utilizing the new $250,000 Road District Tax, which was voted in last year. It is a five-year plan to help repair the severe road problems throughout the town. However, the town won't get any of the tax money until November. Plains Mayor Dan Rowan said they had to take money from the town's general fund to get Farmer Street done this year while the weather was favorable.

Rowan said that just about every road needs work. The town's Public Works Department compiled a list of the streets needing the most work. The list is partly based on the amount of traffic. Rowan said the poor condition of the roads is one of the most common complaints from residents.

Traver's Excavators Service, Inc. was one of three companies to bid on the drainage project, winning the bid for $38,301, said Rowan. The drainage work on Farmer Street is the first of two segments of the project. The second part of repairing Farmer Street, paving and chip sealing, might run $30,000 to $40,000, according to the mayor. The town will go out with bids for the second part of the project in the next couple of weeks.

The next three roads on the repair list are Ryan and Boyer Streets and Central Avenue, which will be chip sealed. "We are excited about seeing some progress on these longstanding problems with our roads," said Rowan.


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