Highway superintendent Rik Ritzler says Starke County is on schedule to have no deficient bridges by 2020, according to the latest bridge inspection report. It finds the condition of the county’s bridges has significantly improved over the last two years, going from 17 to 12 deficient. Ritzler says that number should be down to 10 by the end of the year.
Also the number of posted bridges, which are rated for 15 tons or less, has dropped from 16 to 12 and could be as low as nine by the end of the year. Previously five bridges throughout the county were not rated for school buses. That number is now two and could be zero by the end of the year. One of those, the bridge on 900 South just west of U.S. 421, will be replaced with either a steel pipe or a concrete culvert. Ritzler says doing so will save the county at least $200,000 over the cost of a replacement.
Design work is ongoing for the bridges on 700 North just west of 500 East and on 100 East south of 500 South. Construction of both should begin next spring.
No bridges are closed in the county at this time.