Crack in the road causes headaches for LaPorte County farmers

LaPorte County, Ind. - A crack in the road is causing quite the headache for LaPorte County farmers.

Farmers in LaPorte County are about to harvest their grain, corn and soybeans, and they have to do it quickly before bad weather comes. However, the road closures are making farmers take a detour, one that will really hurt business.
This is no ordinary crack. It is 500 feet long and goes down 14 feet. It's so dangerous, county officials closed down part of County Road 600 East, near Hamlet, this week. The community says the closure could not have come at a worse time for farmers in the area.
It is harvest time and farmers are busy trying to beat the clock, but time is not on their side. Especially now that the county close the road farmers have to take to get their harvest to the gain elevator.
"It's just inconvenient. I mean, it's going to just take longer to get around it in order to get to the elevator," says local farmer John Kegebein.
County officials closed the road after they found a 500-foot crack running right down the middle. At its widest point, the crack is only about three inches, but what makes it dangerous is the fact that the crack is close to 14 feet deep! Farmers say it is what is underneath the road that is to blame.
"Peat goes down several feet and it's not a stable soil," says Kegebein
What they plan on doing is digging out the peat and replacing it with sand or some other suitable soil for the road conditions out here.
Kegebein says the road started to fall apart after the amount of traffic and large trucks forced to drive the road as an alternate route to the U.S. 35 road closure.
"If U.S. 35 opened back up it would really take a lot of pressure off of the area."
Until then, kegebein says time is money.
The only thing farmers say could make matters worse is if the area gets anymore heavy rain.
Kegebein says the soil is already naturally weak and moist underneath the road, which is why more rain would make it even more unstable.

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