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Due to safety concerns and continuous maintenance, a county blacktop between Highway 14 and the Village of Oakdale may be closed permanently to non-local heavy trucks.
During Monday’s Oakdale Village Council meeting, members unanimously approved creating a resolution that prohibits any vehicle over a 6 ton axle to go through the town, except for Sixth Street near the elevator. Local trucks and services would still be allowed and annual permits would be available. Only non-local heavy trucks would be impacted.
“There is no possible way for a vehicle to come off the Oakdale Cut Across and into town without crossing there, so we need to follow suit,” County Road Superintendent Casey Dittrich told commissioners Tuesday morning. “I don’t think that’s a bad deal. Right now it’s barricaded and open only to local traffic with the bridge out. We’re going to keep it that way.”
While the Oakdale board voted to create the resolution, it must be approved before a change is made. However, even after that, the county must make a decision on if it wants to proceed.
“It’s tearing up our roads through town, and we’re responsible financially for fixing the road at the bridge. We want to close it down,” said Oakdale counsel member Angie Boyer.
Everyone in attendance at the Oakdale meeting supported closure of the route and had no issues with permits for such reason as harvest or hauling hay.
“They used to shut that down two weeks before Easter and keep it closed for 90 days after to let the ground dry out,” said Steve Jockens, who lives just west of Oakdale on the blacktop. “In the spring, it just tears the road to pieces.”
Previously, the truck route — or Oakdale Cut Across as it’s widely known — saw abundant heavy truck traffic. However since the flooding, it’s now open to only local traffic. Heavy truck traffic, village officials said, has continuously led to maintenance by the county. Lowering the truck traffic, they said, would save tax dollars.
Dittrich said he is hoping to discuss the truck route at the county level more in May. He said the county has to decide whether it follows suit with Oakdale and issues a 6 ton limit as well. If the county does not, a driver could legally be on the blacktop but receive a citation as soon as they enter Oakdale village limits.
The Village of Oakdale is patrolled by the Antelope County Sheriff’s Department, so it would be the county issuing tickets in Oakdale.