Grant Co. unpaved road grading to start as weather permits

Mar. 6—EPHRATA — Grant County residents can expect grading to start on unpaved county roads as snow melts, rainy weather and roads dry out. Supervisors of all three county road districts gave an update to the Grant County Commissioners ON Monday.

Road District 1 Supervisor John Brissey said crews have started grading in some sections of that district, but that grading too soon makes the road muddy and difficult to use. District 2 Supervisor Mike DeTrolio said the ground is starting to dry out, and as it does, grading will begin. As of Monday all gravel roads are open in District 2, he said, even if they're not graded yet.

"We're rapidly losing our moisture," DeTrolio said.

District 1 runs from THE Douglas County line at Grand Coulee south past Ephrata. District 2 includes Moses Lake and Warden and runs to the Adams County line. District 3 includes what's left, from Quincy past Mattawa to the Yakima and Benton county lines.

Rusty Soelter, supervisor for District 3, said all roads are open in that district. Some roads, along Lower Crab Creek being an example, require repairs but those must wait until the ground dries, he said. Some roads do have load restrictions due to the wet conditions.

But roadbed conditions are improving, he said.

"I think we're through the worst of it," Soelter said.

Public works crews are removing the sand and gravel applied during the winter, preparatory to sealing cracks in paved county roads, the supervisors said.

Soelter said crews will repair a culvert along White Trail Road south of Quincy that was damaged by beavers. The repairs will include installation of a device designed to keep animals out, he said.

Crews also have been cleaning up litter, which includes abandoned homeless encampments.

"It's a huge problem right now," DeTrolio said.

The best solution for an abandoned camp near Moses Lake was to take grading equipment and remove it dirt and all, he said.

In answer to a question from Commissioner Rob Jones, DeTrolio said people are hired on a seasonal basis to clean up litter, but not enough people applied to fill out the crew in 2023.

Commissioner Danny Stone asked if litter crews are encountering drug paraphernalia. DeTrolio said it's more common to find needles and similar items closer to towns.

Litter crews, whether seasonal or full-time employees are equipped with leather gloves and other equipment, as well as training to reduce the likelihood of getting stuck with a needle, he added.

Cheryl Schweizer can be reached via email at