Dina Vogel of rural Marion is frustrated by how long it has taken Marion County to genuinely fix Remington Road between Pilsen and U.S. 56. It has been more than a year since the county accepted approximately $430,000 as TransCanada’s fair payment to repair the road after construction of the Keystone Oil Pipeline, and Vogel wants to know what has happened to that money.
According to Marion County Road and Bridge Department, nearly $329,000 remains in a fund earmarked for the road. In the interim, the department has patched potholes in the road.
In some places, the road is more patch than normal surface, and signs at both ends of the stretch between Marion and Pilsen warn drivers of “ROUGH ROAD.”
Road and Bridge Superintendent Randy Crawford said edges are breaking off at the same time that out-of-county traffic increases on the road, as visitors flock to St. John Nepomucene Catholic Church while the case is made in Washington, D.C., and the Vatican for Pilsen’s own Father Emil Kapaun to receive the Medal of Honor and sainthood.
Crawford recognizes that Remington Road has many issues, and he is trying to convince Marion County Commission to purchase material to overlay the road with new asphalt in the worst spots. Asphalt costs $65 per ton currently, and while that may not sound like much, it adds up quickly, Crawford said.
Crawford said there are a couple of projects that are higher priorities, namely 330th Road out of Tampa and 90th and 120th Roads from K-15 to the McPherson County line, but the Pilsen road is high on his list.
Commission Chairman Dan Holub, whose district includes the area involved, said that on a scale of 1 to 10, he would rate Remington Road as a 12 priority.
Holub worries about the traffic load it could face if Kapaun is declared a saint or awarded the Medal of Honor, and he would like to widen the road from its current 22 feet to 24 feet.
Vogel said she had heard Holub’s desire to widen the road, but she said there would be significant opposition from landowners to selling land for the project.