Starke County Highway Department Readies for Winter

 It’s only the first week of August, but officials with the Starke County Highway Department are already planning for winter. Superintendent Rik Ritzler told the county commissioners this week the county’s salt cost has gone down significantly over last year. The county piggybacks on the state’s bid and is able to realize considerable savings as a result. Ritzler says the price per ton has gone down from $73.62 to $65.32. If this winter is comparable to last year’s, he says that will save the county about $10,000. Continue reading

Weight Limit Reduced on Starke County Bridge

Weight limit five tonsThe Starke County Highway Department has reduced the allowable weight on a bridge northeast of Knox. Effective immediately, the bridge on County Road 25 north immediately west of 600 East has a posted limit of five tons. Highway department officials say the change is due to the recent bridge inspection.

Starke County Highway Department Begins Mowing Operations


Mowing season is under way for the Starke County Highway Department. Superintendent Rik Ritzler says a mower has been out since April 27, and the other four tractor mowers will being cutting tight-of-ways on Monday. Last year county highway crews mowed more than 8,000 lane miles of county roadways. This year Ritzler says they plan to complete at least five complete circuits of the county, for a total of 7,500 miles. Continue reading

Starke County Rolls Out Inmate Work Crew

Inmate Work Crew DetailInmates from the Starke County Jail are picking up trash today east of Knox. Sheriff Bill Dulin says four low-level offenders are out under the supervision of a jail officer. Orange signs along Culver Road indicate an inmate work crew is in the area and caution motorists to slow down. Crews from the Starke County Highway Department will pick up bagged trash collected by the inmates.

Starke County Highway Department Adds Four-Way Stop

4-way_stop_signStarke County has a new four-way stop. County highway crews added stop signs at all four corners of the intersection of 350 South and 200 East this week. Highway Superintendent Rik Ritzler says they’ve also installed “new traffic pattern ahead” signs about 200 feet before the four approaches as well. The additional stop signs were added after a Purdue University engineering study found a need for a four-way stop due to safety concerns and traffic counts.

Starke County Highway Department Wins National Award

 The Starke County Highway Department is the recipient of a National Safe and Sustainable Snowfighting Award from the Salt Institute. They were honored for excellence in environmental consciousness and effective management in the storage of winter road salt. The county is one of 12 facilities in the United States and Canada to receive the honor this year and the first county in the nation to win the award since it was established in 2012. Starke County is also Indiana’s first non-INDOT honoree. Continue reading

Snow Keeps Starke County Highway Department Busy

 As of last night, Starke County Highway Department snow plow drivers had worked 24 of the past 36 hours clearing ice and snow from roads. Highway Superintendent Rik Ritzler shared that information with the county commissioners during their meeting last night. Commissioner Kathy Norem praised their efforts and noted the county roads are in better shape than state roads 8, 23 and U.S. 35. Continue reading

Starke County Highway Department Restocks Salt, Regroups

 The Starke County Highway Department has a fresh supply of salt for the next winter weather event. Superintendent Rik Ritzler says 400 additional tons of have been added to the pile. So far this season 447 tons have been used. Last year the county had already gone through more than 1,200 tons of salt by mid-January. The garage foreman has also replenished the sand/salt mixture in anticipation of the next snow. Continue reading