Bill aims to hold Amish accountable for rural road damage - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Bill aims to hold Amish accountable for rural road damage

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Eau Claire County (WQOW) - Your tax dollars could be going to fixing rural roads across the state of Wisconsin because of horseshoe studs damaging the asphalt.

County officials in Eau Claire told News 18 the damage is paving the way to repairs after being refurbished within the past two years.

Eau Claire County Highway Commissioner, Jon Johnson, told News 18 some of the roads in the county that have been treated since 2015 have already seen significant damage from horse-drawn buggies.

Johnson said horseshoes from horses pulling Amish buggies are responsible for that damage because the spikes on the horseshoes break down pavement. Those spikes are bigger in the winter to get traction on snowy roads.

A bill is circulating the capitol to create preventative measures to avoid future damage because the repairs are eating up taxpayer money.

"To go back over now, and reseal the road, it's going to cost $3,000 per mile for just the material. Here on Highway CF that's all new blacktop and that's $185,000 per-mile to fix," Johnson explained. 

Those costs are only for County Highway CF, not including other roads in Eau Claire County.

The bill would require buggy drivers to file horseshoe studs down to a quarter of an inch during the spring, summer and fall months. If the bill passes, drivers could be fined $25 after a second violation.

Johnson said officials have had conversations with elders in the Amish communities around Eau Claire County about the issue. He said most are willing to make the changes and are open to assist with keeping the roads manageable for the future. 

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