Loved your Hy-Vee tip/no tip article. Question for you: What's going on at south County Road 105 at Oxbow Park? We live just west in the upper wooded area that extends past the park. I drove east one day last fall and saw white smoke and trees being cut down all along the east side of the woods of CR 105 as it starts its way north from CR 4. During the warm fall, many trees were taken down all along the edge of the woods there and also, a tall hillside on the north side of CR 4 was gouged and trees taken out, too.

Our theory is that they'll put in a new road very far away from the bend in the river there. The bend is very dangerous to drive in the winter with ice. We have friends who were taking a winter walk one time years ago and saw a car in the river at the bend. One of our onlookers went into the river and helped the woman-driver out of the car.

The activity, I believe, is all closed down for winter. Unfortunately my husband doesn't like to take our car on the gravel road there now to view the area. -- Just Curious Jane

I'm sorry, Jane, that the answer to your question has been cloistered in my notes a while longer than is reasonable. I only wish that I, like my boss, had a wonder dog editorial assistant who could help with all the filing, scheduling, clerical assistance, etc., that is required to attend to the many great thoughts that transit a mighty mind such as mine. Alas.

I do have other assistants, though, and one of them picked up a phone and got the scoop on this from Scott Holmes, the transportation supervisor in Olmsted County's Public Works Department that is overseeing the roadwork near Oxbow. CR 105 gets flooded fairly often, Holmes said. "Anytime we get somewhat of a major rain, we have to close it and fix it up again," he said.

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How tiresome that must be. The new road being built there will be placed to avoid flooding, and -- you'll be pleased to know -- will be routed slightly away from the river's edge to keep cars out of the drink. Some trees have been removed to make way.

This work is being done along the length of CR 105 through the park, from the south side to the place where the county road crosses the Zumbro (south branch, middle fork) on its way east out of Oxbow. It all should be done by summer's end. Additional work is planned in future years to regrade County Road 4 south of Oxbow Park toward Rochester. Some curves along that route spell trouble for traffic. Engineers aim to take as few trees as they have to, though, Holmes said.

Hopefully these improvements preserve some nice views without all the opportunities to get your ankles wet helping hapless motorists.

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