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PASER rating dips slightly on county roads
By Reid A Gacke
At last week’s COW (Committee of the Whole) meeting of the Polk County Board, the county departments released their annual reports and, while many were simply “business as usual,” the Highway Department’s report showed a slow decline in county roads. From 2012 to 2013, the average PASER Road Rating for county roads dropped from 7.1 to 6.9 and, while in 2012, 39 percent of the county’s roads were rated eight or higher, in 2013 only 24 percent were. The report blames a “stagnant construction budget” for the slow but steady decline.
PASER stands for Pavement Surface Evaluation and Rating and it is a system developed by the University of Wisconsin – Madison for the evaluation of roads. A perfect, smooth road in no need of repairs receives a rating of 10 while one that is only one step away from needing to go back to gravel is a one. The rating allows for swift and consistent ratings of a large number of roads to gain a general overview of the roads in a specific area.
According to the PASER manual available online, a rating of 10 is reserved for new roads and requires no maintenance at all while a rating of nine, which still requires no maintenance in general, is a road that is “like new” and may have been recently overlaid. A rating of eight is still “very good” and may require no maintenance or very little. These roads may have been recent constructions as well, though there may be some tight or sealed “longitudinal or transverse cracks.” 
See this week's Ledger Press (July 31) for the entire story.

One dead, one injured in one-car crash
By Lynda Berg Olds
Speed and alcohol are suspected factors in the late night/early morning crash of July 26 in the Town of St. Croix Falls that left one dead and one injured.
It was 2:49 a.m. on Saturday morning when the Polk County Dispatch Center received the report of a one-vehicle crash on 200th Street, about a quarter of a mile south of 160th Avenue, just east of the St. Croix Valley Raceway. The reporting party advised that there were two people in the car who were severely injured.
Upon arrival, deputies found a white 2004 Pontiac Grand Prix in the west ditch with extensive damage. The Polk County Medical Examiner’s Office pronounced the driver, Preston Wilson, 29, of Frederic, dead at the scene.
The passenger, Anthony Kralewski, 30, of Centuria, was transported to Regions Hospital in Minnesota by ground ambulance for injuries sustained in the crash. Polk County Sheriff Pete Johnson, in a press conference on Monday, indicated Kralewski would likely have been airlifted to Regions Hospital in St. Paul, but it was too foggy.

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One dead, one injured in one-car crash

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PASER rating dips slightly on county roads

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Outdoor Report

Kralewski was (miraculously) in “fair” condition Tuesday morning, according to a hospital spokesperson.
The investigation showed that the car was northbound on 200th Street “at a high rate of speed.” The operator attempted to brake as he tried to negotiate a corner, but due to excessive speed, the car left the roadway, launching over a driveway, and smashing into several trees in the west ditch. The car came to rest in the west ditch facing south.
See this week's Ledger Press (July 31) for the complete story.