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Work begins on County Road 37, ending long and bitter opposition

Tri-City Paving employees are compacting base layers of sand and aggregate in preparation for paving Hubbard County Road 37 in about a month. The project has been stalled 20 years by opposition. (Sarah Smith / Enterprise)

BY Sarah smith

A contentious chapter in Hubbard County history will come to a close this summer with the paving of the South Kabekona Lake Drive road.

Also called Hubbard County 37, work has begun to stabilize the base in preparation for a bituminous layer that will be paved in about a month.

Crews from Tri-City Paving in Little Falls have been compacting sand and Class 5 gravel on the five-mile stretch of roadway.

The natural preservation road project was successfully delayed two decades by a small group of vocal opponents, many extended family members living on the road.

They didn’t want to see traffic or speeds increase because of the paving, and they tied ribbons around many older trees along the route to prevent cutting.

The county held several meetings throughout the years to appease the opponents, most of which were seasonal residents.

Permanent residents had largely supported the project, contending the road conditions in winter and early spring were too dangerous to accommodate emergency vehicles.

Assistant Hubbard County Engineer Jed Nordin said the $1.2 million project will be completed this summer.

Sarah Smith

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

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