Residents living along Henke Road in Richland Township first appeared before the Union County Board of County Commissioners seeking assistance for their road May 7, 2019. At that time they presented information stating that they had endured three separate floods within a year’s span and wanted the county’s help in raising the grade of the road to help prevent future flooding. At that time, the commissioners said they would have to conduct a study to see if they could raise the road grade. A special meeting was held January 28 to discuss the outcomes of the study. At that meeting, many residents of Richland Township, not just those along Henke Road, found out that it would cost around $200,000 to raise the grade on Henke Road when their budget is only $60,000 including the $10,000 opt out.

Dan Weigel presented a prepared speech with some background information on the flooding, along with offering a couple solutions to help ease it. Weigel stated that Henke Road was one of the most highly-travelled gravel roads in Union County. The road was closed four separate times for a total of six weeks in 2019 and three times in 2018.

Weigel had two solutions to offer: raise the road grade 6-12 inches on the southern-most end and spray with magnesium chloride to help harden it and prevent deteriation or purchase two-to-three acres and build a levee the same height as Highway 50.

“We are confident that it can be accomplished much cheaper than the cost of the major road lift,” Weigel began.

“We request that the highway department raise the south end of Henke Road by at least 6-12 inches along the half-mile stretch,” Weigel continued. “This could be done in increments over a period of time to preserve the firmness of the surface. We ask that they continue to apply the magnesium chloride treatment to stabalize and harden the road.

“In addition to this, we propose building a levee on the east side of Henke Road by widening the ditch and using the fill to build up the levee to be even with Highway 50,” Weigel said. “More fill would be brought in, as needed, from a neighbor’s farm nearby.”

Weigel gave specific dimensions on what the levee would look like and what measures would be taken to ensure it didn’t erode right away.

See full story in this week’s Leader-Courier.