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Who is responsible for fixing road damage near wind farm?

Q: Who is responsible for repairing bumps in the pavement that were caused by heavy equipment crossing the road to put up wind towers on County Trunk H in the town of Empire?

A: Located in the towns of Eden and Empire, the Cedar Ridge Wind Farm began commercial operation in December 2008. Prior to going online, heavy trucks and machinery laid out service roads and built towering turbines on 41 sites spread out over 12 square miles in the rural areas east of Fond du Lac.

Before and after construction of the Alliant Energy wind farm, the Fond du Lac County Highway Department and Alliant Energy evaluated the condition of the county highways used during construction, including County Trunk H, County Trunk UU and County Trunk W.

“The Highway Department and Alliant Energy agreed on damages, including general wear beyond normal traffic and for other specific damages such as the depressions in the pavement on County H caused by heavy equipment crossing the highway,” said County Highway Engineer Paul Sponholz. “Upon completion of the construction, Alliant Energy paid the Highway Department for those damages.”

Sponholz said the depressions – one between Seven Hills Road and Pine Road and the other between Willow Road and Marsh Road – were not deemed to be a safety issue and were left unrepaired for the time being.

“Creating a patch to repair the damage would not necessarily improve the ride quality and would not be cost beneficial,” Sponholz said, adding that money paid to the county by Alliant have been allocated to the general highway maintenance fund for future repairs or resurfacing as needed.