Town of Blaine
Road Condition Report and Improvement Plan
February 11, 2020
1) To prepare a prioritized four-year town road improvement plan.
2) Choose a road improvement project for the 2021 - 2022 project cycle for application for LRIP (Local Roads
Improvement Program) funding. When filling out the LRIP Application, a minimum 2 year “Road Improvement Plan” is
The Town Board toured and inspected many of the roads in the Town in the spring of 2019. This report is a result of that
inspection. The report lists options for the Board to consider in selecting a project that qualifies for the LRIP
reimbursement. For the 2021 - 2022 project cycle the amount should be about $17,000.
General Road Condition for the 4 Main “Through” Roads (21.87 miles in total)
There are 4 main “through” town roads in Blaine: North Markville Road; South Markville Road; St. Croix Trail; and Big
McGraw Road. Note: All town roads in Blaine would be considered “low volume”, but these four have more traffic than
the other roads, and are paved for the most part, and generally should be of higher priority.
North Markville Road (3.02 miles): Is an asphalt road and generally in good condition and no road improvement
work needs to be considered at this time. Note: The exception being about 180’ of bridge decking over Chases Creek that
needs resurfacing which will be scheduled for 2020.
South Markville Road (2.71 miles): This road lies along and close to the St. Croix River and floods frequently, and is
difficult to maintain. The first 1 1/3 miles section going west from State Highway 35 has not been improved
in decades and is a candidate for improvement. Note: A Town Road Improvement Discretionary (TRID)
application was submitted October 25, 2017 to reconstruct this section. The TRID grant was approved and the town has
until June 30, 2023 to complete this project and it is recommended that it be completed no later than the summer/fall of
2022. This project was estimated at $250,000 and the TRID grant was for half of this amount, or $125,000.
St. Croix Trail (10.05 miles): The towns longest road with a length of ten miles with about 4 ½ miles asphalt and 5 ½
miles of gravel mostly past the St. Croix River bridge (CCC Bridge) and through the Namekagon Barrens Wildlife Area
(“Barrens”). The asphalt portion is in good condition, and the 1.6 miles of new asphalt (2013) from Little McGraw Road
to Perkins Trail is in excellent condition.
There are three areas on St. Croix Trail that should be considered for future improvement.
1) The hill east of the bridge leading up to the Barrens. This section was paved with asphalt at one time, but it has
deteriorated over the years and some years ago was covered with gravel. This steep hill is susceptible to erosion
during moderate to heavy rainfalls and requires additional maintenance over and above normal grading. At the top
of the hill through the curve, there is almost always “wash-boarding” due to vehicles making the steep climb.
This section of St. Croix Trail is about ½ mile long and is a candidate for improvement, basically
2) Within a 2 mile stretch of St. Croix Trail that runs through the Barrens, there are 3or 4 low spots that continuously
fill up with water each spring, and after heavy rainfalls. Several loads of gravel in these low spots have help
immensely and more is needed. Note: This would not be a large project and thus would not qualify for the LRIP
funding, but is listed to make the report complete.
3) Another area to consider but of lesser importance, would be the section from Perkins Trail east to the St. Croix
Trail bridge which is about 1.2 miles. For most of this section, the road has been widened, and gravel placed on
top of the deteriorating asphalt, and thus significantly improved. There are 4 small structures near the bridge that
are used primarily for hunting. Also, the section just east of the bridge was left as it was, i.e., the original width
and subpar asphalt. For now, this section can be left as is, but should be considered for a future road improvement
project. Also, a short section east of the bridge was completely washed out in the June 2018 storm and was
identified as being damaged by FEMA. No funding has been made available from FEMA as the project has yet to
Big McGraw Road (6.09 miles): The first 3 miles east of WI Highway 35 to the bridge over Hay Creek is in good
condition. The fourth mile (from the Hay Creek Bridge to Perkins Trail) was resurfaced in 2016 and is in excellent
1) The fifth mile from Perkins Trail ½ mile east and ½ mile north where the asphalt ends. This one-mile section
receives less traffic but needs improvement and should be considered a secondary priority.
2) The sixth mile continues ½ mile east and ½ mile north to the border with the Town of Dairyland. This section
is gravel, but is well maintained and in good driving condition. Note: This section receives less traffic and is
the lowest priority on Big McGraw Road.
General Road Condition for “Lake” Roads (4.27 miles in total)
There are basically 4 “Lake” roads: No Mans Lake Road; Little McGraw Road; Lee Road; and McGraw Lake Road. None
of these roads are “through” roads and nearly all the traffic is for residents that have cabins and homes on the lakes, and
many are seasonal residents.
1) No Mans Lake Road (0.73 miles): This road is all sand and gravel but kept in good condition by grading.
There is only one permanent resident that uses this road, the other 14 structures are for either seasonal residents or
hunters and thus the road has minimal traffic. No improvement is warranted.
2) Little McGraw Road (1.27 miles): This lake road serves about 40 cabins and most are seasonal residents and
thus does not experience a lot of traffic. The road circles around the north end of the lake for about 1 ¼ miles and
the asphalt is in good condition.
3) Lee Road (1.12 miles): This road serves about 20 residents, many seasonal. Lee Road was resurfaced in 2010
and is in very good condition.
4) McGraw Lake Road (1.15 miles): This road goes north from Big McGraw Road and the right-of-way
cleared, diched cleaned and widened, old asphalt pulverized, many loads of gravel put in the low areas,
and the road resurfaced with hot melt asphalt in June 2019.
Note: The Local Road Improvement Program (LRIP) for $16,759 has been approved for this project.
General Road Condition for Other Town Roads (29.24 miles in total)
Listed below are 12 secondary town roads that are either, sand, gravel, or deteriorating asphalt that will probably not be
replaced as it is deemed unjustifiable due to very low traffic volume. These roads are listed with length in miles, starting
in the northeast corner of the Town and going clockwise:
1. North County Line Road (1.59 miles): This is a border road about 2.2 miles in total length and shared with
the Town of Dairyland. This gravel road is kept in good shape with grading and with very low traffic minimal
maintenance is required.
2. County Line Drive/Road (2.30 miles): This is a border road about 5.9 miles in total length and shared with
the Town of Minong. This gravel road gets more traffic but is well maintained with grading
3. Five Mile Road (3.19 miles): A gravel road in good shape requiring minimal maintenance due to very low
traffic volume. This road is used primarily by loggers and hunters.
4. Dry Landing Road (4.34 miles): This is a border road 4.95 miles in total length and shared with the Town of
Dairyland. This gravel road in good shape requiring minimal maintenance due to very low traffic volume and
mostly ATV’s and serves only two seasonal residents.
5. Namekagon Trail (3.13 miles): This road requires more maintenance due to river access traffic but is kept in
decent condition with frequent grading. Note two exceptions to this road that need improvement:
a. About a mile north of the bridge there is a steep hill referred to as the Moore Farm Hill that
almost continually washes out with heavy rains and is a good candidate for asphalt. This hill
about ¼ mile in length should be considered a road improvement project.
b. South of the Namekagon River Bridge, going up the hill the asphalt is beginning to deteriorate
and could be considered a road improvement project.
6. East Adams Lake Road (1.06 miles): Minimal traffic but serves several residents and does require normal
7. Springbrook Trail (4.23 miles): Springbrook Trail is a border road shared with the Towns of Webb Lake and
Swiss. About 5.9 miles in total length this road is shared with the Towns of Webb (about 1/3 mile) and Swiss
(about 1 1/3 miles). This road is receiving more traffic than in past years. Mostly heavy logging trucks when
logging in this area which has occurred regularly over the past several years; increasing ATV traffic; vehicles
accessing the Namekagon River canoe landing; hunters; tourists; and a few local residents. Due to the loose sandy
soil in the hills and curves and increased traffic, this road requires considerable maintenance. In 2016 and 2017
sections of this road were widened and improved but no paving was planned nor done. A county grant will help
with funding for these improvements.
8. Namekagon Point Road (0.89 miles): An infrequent used road except for logging, one permanent resident
and one or two seasonal residents and requires normal maintenance.
9. Big Island Road (1.11 miles): A badly deteriorating asphalt road that serves about 11 residents and is a
strong candidate for improvement. First pulverizing the old asphalt, then adding gravel and packing
down for future resurfacing.
10. Big Hill Road (0.73 miles): A gravel road serving a few residents with very minimal traffic. This road is
periodically graded, and would be difficult to justify improving.
11. State Line Road (4.69 miles): This road is about 5.2 miles in total length, with 0.50 miles maintained by Arna
Township I Minnesota and the remaining 4.69 miles maintained by Blaine. The 1-mile section on the south end is
the “connecting” road, i.e., joining North and South Markville Roads. This asphalt section has some traffic and is
in good condition. North of North Markville Road is gravel and has very minimal traffic and requires minimal
maintenance. However, about a mile from the north end the road, many years ago a low water crossing or
“spillway” was designed and installed for the Upper Tamarack River to flow over the road during spring thaw and
heavy rains. Most of the time this seems to be adequate, but the road becomes impassable during spring runoff
and heavy rains and requires posting of “road flooded” signs on both sides of the low water crossing during these
periods. Although this can be inconvenient, and requires vigilance and work for the town employee, not much
improvement can be justified since the road gets such little use. It may be a situation where we will simply have
to “live with it”. One possibility might be to make and install more permanent signs warning of the “possible”
road flooding during spring and heavy rains.
12. Perkins Trail (1.98 miles): This is a “connecting” road between Big McGraw Road and St. Croix Trail and
gets some use. At one time this was an asphalt road but was graveled over, recently improved and with grading
remains in good condition.
Remaining Low Volume Roads (4.50 miles in total)
The next 12 roads listed are 4.50 miles in total and are short dead-end roads that serve either no residents or often only
one or two residents, or access hunting structures and thus get very little use and require minimal maintenance. Therefore,
significant improvement on these roads cannot be justified.
13. Montgomery Road (0.50 miles).
14. Bents Road (0.60 miles).
15. Ferguson Road (0.25 miles).
16. Cockerham Road (0.25 miles).
17. Gomulak (0.46 miles).
18. Hunt Road (0.25 miles).
19. Buck Horn Trail (.25 miles).
20. TN RD 34 (0.07 miles).
21. East Barrens Road (0.20 miles).
22. Goldsmith Trail (0.22 miles).
23. River Road (0.94 miles).
24. TN RD 32 (0.51 miles).
This report lists 5 possible roads or sections of roads as candidates for improvement (listed below and above in larger font
and bold letters). Below is a summary of these candidates in the order in which they appeared in this report. The Town
Board will review and prioritize.
A. South Markville Road (first 1 ½ miles)
B. St. Croix Trail “half mile hill project”.
C. Namekagon Trail “half mile hill project”.
D. Namekagon Trail “quarter mile Moore Farm Hill project”.
E. Big Island Road (1.11 miles)
A minimum of a 2-year road improvement plan is required for the LRIP application, but a 4-year plan is recommended
since the town can only budget for a significant road improvement project about every other year or every third year. On
that basis the following prioritization of a road improvement plan is recommended for Board approval:
1. Big Island Road (1.11 miles): This road serves about 11 residents and has badly deteriorating asphalt and needs
to be improved.
2. Combine the three “hill projects” into one improvement project. Note: The expenditure for paving these hills can
be justified by greatly by reducing frequent maintenance costs.
a. The ½ mile St. Croix Trail hill;
b. The Namekagon Trail ¼ mile “Moore Farm Hill”.
c. The Namekagon Trail ½ mile south of bridge. Note: This section could be delayed based on budget
3. South Markville Road 1 ½ mile section west of WI Highway 35. (TRID application was submitted October 25,
2017 and approved. The TRID has a 6-year time period for project completion, with a final date of 6/30/2023.
The estimated cost of the project is $250,000 with the state reimbursement of 50% or $125,000.)