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County 37 eminent domain lawsuit to be dismissed as grading work proceeds

Workers at Aspen Construction Company of Hackensack have carefully removed trees and preserved ones the opponents don't want removed. (Sarah Smith / Enterprise)

Work has begun on both ends of County Road 37 in northern Hubbard County after a petition for eminent domain was dismissed.

County Attorney Don Dearstyne said he filed to withdraw the complaint against opponents to the project that widens and straightens a natural environment road.

About two-dozen holdouts had initially refused to sell their land for the roadway, but all settled. Most were paid an average of $1,000 per strip of land adjacent to the road. Work had been delayed on the east end of the project until the land issues could be resolved.

The five-mile project stretches from Highway 64 east to Hubbard County Road 39.

The project has been delayed nearly two decades by opposition to removal of the trees off the south shore of Kabekona Lake and any measures that could increase the speed limit.

It will remain a 30 mph zone but opponents have worried motorists will increase speeds along the route that many seasonal residents use to bicycle, hike or cross country ski.

Grading should be finished later this fall. Eventually the road will receive a blacktop surface.

Sarah Smith

Sarah Smith is the outdoors editor. She covers courts, business and breaking news in addition to outdoors events.

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