County Road 76 ATV trail options being explored

By Jennie Zeitler, Staff Writer
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After a flood mitigation project changed the capacity of Fletcher Creek and eliminated an all-terrain vehicle (ATV) crossing of the creek along County Road (CR) 76 north of Little Falls, driveways along a stretch of road between Fletcher Creek and County Road 46 have suffered continuing damage.

“We are trying to find a way to route the trail to avoid the driveway damage on the west side of CR 76,” said Steve Backowski, county public work director.

“I have tried talking to Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF), but have not had much response,” he said.

The most viable option seems to be to route the trail over the easement between old Highway 371 (CR 76) and the BNSF railroad tracks to the east. That would eliminate the driveway problem on the west side of the highway, he said.

“I’m trying to have a conversation with BNSF, calling about every other day for about two weeks, but have not had an answer,” Backowski said.

“It will take some time to get answers to find something that will work,” he said.

One recommendation Backowski made was for ATV drivers to just take it easy when crossing driveways west of CR 76.

“Give a little consideration to the property owners and reduce the damage being done,” he said, “and future trails might not be so hard to put in place.”