Frequently Asked Questions

Q

Does the County repair damaged mailboxes caused by snow removal?

A

Your mailbox and post should be able to withstand potential discharge from snowplows. The county will not replace, or repair mailboxes knocked over by the force of snow coming off the plow.   Please take time, in the Fall of the year to evaluate your mailbox’s integrity. Mailboxes must meet the standards of the United States Postal Service. Inferior posts and mounts will not be repaired by the county.  Posts should not be larger than 4”x4” wood posts or steel “T” or “U” posts weighing more than 3 lb. per foot.  Concrete supports, railroad ties, and steel “I” beams are not allowed for use as mailbox supports.   Mailboxes damaged by direct collision with county plows or equipment will be repaired by county personnel in a timely manner.

Q

How can I get notifications or Information on road closures and construction projects?

A

Woodbury County road closures lasting longer than 48 hours are posted on the following website. You may register to receive Notifications of detours in Woodbury County, or other Iowa counties by registering here.

Statewide information can be found here.

Q

How do I add a new or widen an existing driveway or field entrance?

A

Contact the County Engineer’s Office at 712-873-3215 or 712-279-6484 and a staff member will meet you on site to fill out a Driveway Permit application.   Driveways must meet minimum sight distance requirements.   Residential driveways may be up to 30’ wide.   Farm and business entrances may be up to 40 feet wide.   The county policy on entrances and driveways is located here.

Q

How do I apply for dust control?

A

Dust control may be applied to county roads beginning in mid-May and may be maintained into early October.   Two applications are recommended since it is difficult for a single application to last an entire summer season without becoming too rough.   The county will only blade the road if it becomes rough and threatens safe vehicle operation through the treated area.  The county allows lignin sulfonate (tree sap) or calcium/magnesium chloride to be used as a dust suppressant.   Used oil is not allowed, nor are asphalt products.


A permit is required from residents applying any type of chemical suppressant to the road surface. The permit is arranged through the applicator.  Residents are instructed to contact one of the approved vendors to perform this service.   County staff will blade, add gravel as needed, and prepare the road prior to suppressant application to maximize the life of the treatment.   Woodbury County will not guarantee the effectiveness of the dust control product, and any complaints regarding the quality of the product should be addressed to the vendor that has been selected.

Approved Vendors

Marx Distribution 
2827 225th Street
Sioux City, IA 51111
Phone: 712-258-5884

Heffron Services
6611 University Ave., #201
Windsor Heights, IA 50324
Phone No. 515-321-5033
Website

Jerico Services, Inc.
P.O. Box 607
Indianola, IA 50125
Phone: 1-800-397-3977
Website

Q

How do I report road concerns?

A

You can either email the county engineer or call the county engineer’s office at 712-873-3215 or 712-279-6484. 

Q

What if I want to do work along my roadside?

A

Any work done within the right of way requires a permit issued by the county.   This includes building or paving driveways, installing tile or drain outlets, ditch grading, or other changes to the road right of way.   Call the county engineer’s office at 712-873-3215 or 712-279-6484 to make an appointment with a county staff member to discuss the type of work you would like to do within the right of way.

Some work in the right of way is prohibited.  You may not fill your ditch to make it more mowable or build obstructions within the right of way including large and heavy mailbox supports, decorative pillars, boulders, driveway headwalls, or other objects which would cause severe damage to an errant vehicle.   Contact the engineer’s office before you build. 

Q

Why does it take so long to clear gravel roads?

A

Woodbury County snow removal is governed by County Ordinance number 1, An Ordinance to Establish The Policy And Level Of Service In Respect to Clearance of Snow or Ice and Maintenance of this County’s Secondary Roads During the Winter Months.   Snow removal response is highly variable and is governed the amount of snowfall, the duration of the storm and the winds during and after the storm. 

Restoring access on gravel roads is a slow process because motor graders are not built for speed and a typical route covers forty to fifty miles.  Unlike plowing city streets, county roads do not have horizontal references like curbs, power poles, and streetlights to guide plow operators.   County road snow removal is a daylight only operation, especially on the gravel roads which are sometimes drifted with snow from fence line to fence line.    The county’s initial response is to make a single lane pass to reach every residence by the end of the first day following a snowstorm.   This doesn’t guarantee that the road will stay open, especially if heavy winds persist, but we will attempt to reach every residence by the end of the first day.   Once the roads have been opened to one lane of travel, the county will begin to push snow back on day 2 and open the full width of each road that is above Level B service.  Depending upon winds and storm conditions, this may take 2-3 days after the end of the storm.   Rural homeowners are encouraged to plan accordingly for the winter season.

Q

Why does the County mow and/or trim trees in front of my house?

A

The County mows roadsides in order to maintain sight distance, vegetation, shaded roadways, undergrowth, removal of snow traps and clear zones. The County will not mow on any personal property, only the right-of-way.  Trees overhanging the road may be trimmed to maintain sight distance and to avoid having limbs brush large trucks and farm equipment using the roads.   Decorative bushes and trees are not allowed to be planted within the county right of way as they can screen sight distance at driveways.

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This content was printed from the County website at woodburycountyiowa.gov on December 9, 2023.