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This knee-high frost heave on Gresham Road is one of the worst Black Hawk County Engineer Cathy Nicholas has ever seen. 

WATERLOO — Black Hawk County is moving forward with projects to restore rural roads heavily damaged by frost boils over the past year.

The county Board of Supervisors voted unanimously Tuesday to approve two road contracts that weren’t on the radar until heavy rains and harsh weather took a toll on the gravel road system.

“These two projects are extra work that we’ve incurred just due to the poor conditions from this past winter and spring,” said County Engineer Cathy Nicholas. “Both of these items are unbudgeted; we had not planned to do this work.”

A $76,835 contract with Aspro Inc. of Waterloo will pave a 1,300-foot stretch of Watters Road west of Hudson. The current sealcoated road washes out annually from Black Hawk Creek flooding.

“Currently we’re spending approximately $12,000 a year to sealcoat it,” Nicholas said. “So it will pay for itself in four or five years.”

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The city of Hudson has agreed to pick up $6,000 of the cost to cover a portion of the roadway within its city limits, she added.

A separate $17,559 contract with Don Schmitz and Sons of Washburn will grade and repair a major frost boil on Symons Road between Dunkerton and Mount Vernon roads on the north side of Cedar Falls.

Nicholas said the repair is necessary so the county can meet its commitment to the city of Cedar Falls and area residents to sealcoat the stretch of roadway in 2020.

The projects were part of a laundry list of work Nicholas had proposed to the supervisors in July as part of the road recovery effort.

She said the secondary roads department had also hired private contractors to haul additional gravel to county road grader crews, which had fallen behind on rock placement due to the soft road conditions this spring.

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