Gravel, rock supply in high demand after long winter, floods

Gravel, rock supply in high demand after long winter, floods
Clean rock, or white limestone rock pictured here in Fairbury, is used to repair ruts and ripples in many gravel roads. Beatrice Sand and Gravel said this week that they're working long hours to keep up with demand.

The harsh winter and the flooding that followed it has been tough on virtually every Nebraska county, and one ongoing issue for many counties will be the condition of gravel roads.

While recent, warmer weather has allowed the roads to solidify, the concern now is the supply of rock and gravel available to repair them.

Justin Williams, an aggregate project coordinator at Beatrice Sand and Gravel says it’s mostly been the white, limestone rock that’s been in high demand so far.

“With the crisis at hand right now, and the high demand for us, the (rock) supply has been lower than we’d like to see it,” Williams said at the Jefferson County Commissioners meeting Tuesday. “But, we’re doing the best that we can to get the supply and rock up to where we’re a little more comfortable.”

Williams says gravel supply is strong right now, with at least a couple hundred tons of it available at a pit near Alexandria. However, the demand for that will go up, too as temperatures warm and moisture subsides.

Not surprisingly, this spring has been the busiest Williams has seen in his last few years with Beatrice Sand and Gravel.

“It’s definitely the busiest I’ve ever seen,” he remarked. “I think a lot of people who have been at the company a lot longer than I have will tell you that this has been one of the busiest in a number of years.”

Beatrice Sand and Gravel supplies rock to Gage, Jefferson, Saline, Thayer and more surrounding counties in southern Nebraska and northern Kansas.

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