WKVI Information Center

News Tagged ‘Starke County Highway Department’

Stability Issue Closes Starke County Bridge

By: Anita Goodan
Published: April 8th, 2014

A bridge has been closed by the Starke County Highway Department.

Highway Superintendent Rik Ritzler told WKVI that the bridge on 700 East just north of State Road 8 will be closed for at least a week.

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Starke Council Approves New Position for Highway Department

By: WKVI Information Center
Published: March 22nd, 2014
Starke County Highway Superintendent Stephen "Rik" Ritzler

Starke County Highway Superintendent Stephen “Rik” Ritzler

The Starke County Highway Department this week cleared another hurdle as they seek to establish a new position in the county to hire a construction inspection supervisor. Highway Superintendent Rik Ritzler had previously approached the commissioners seeking their approval to create the position and his request was approved unanimously.

Monday night, the council reviewed the amendment to the salary ordinance regarding the new position and approved a motion to amend the ordinance to allow for the hire of the inspection supervisor. Ritzler said this will allow the county to forgo hiring inspectors for projects, saving money in the long run.

The supervisor would have to be INDOT certified, but Ritzler said there are already a number of residents within the county who would qualify for the position. He said he estimates the savings would be around $140,000 over two years, and the supervisor could train other highway department employees as well.

On top of that, Ritzler said there is a possibility that INDOT may reimburse some of the expense in hiring a supervisor.

Starke County Highway Department Working Hard to Repair Roads

By: WKVI Information Center
Published: March 22nd, 2014

The Starke County Highway Department has been focusing a large part of its efforts this week on patching and other road repairs, with two patch boxes out working on the North Judson, English Lake, Knox and Hamlet areas. According to the highway department’s Facebook page, many areas throughout the county are in need of patching work and the department is progressively making its way to all of them.

Anyone with pothole concerns is encouraged to call the highway department at 574-772-3011.

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Frost Law in Effect Throughout Starke County

By: WKVI Information Center
Published: March 21st, 2014
Signs like this one were posted throughout Starke County.

Signs like this one were posted throughout Starke County.

Travelers in Starke County may have noticed a few new signs posted on county roads advertising the “frost law” now in effect throughout the county. Highway Superintendent Rik Ritzler said the frost law ordinance prevents big trucks from being on the roads and potentially causing more damage before the county has a chance to repair them.

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Starke County Highway Department Remains Busy

By: WKVI Information Center
Published: March 4th, 2014

 The Starke County Highway Department continues to stay busy with plowing efforts, as Superintendent Rik Ritzler yesterday morning told the commissioners that his department spent most of the month of February plowing, with 17 days of the month spent clearing roads. He said five of the days were spent hauling material, with the other days used for general maintenance.

Over the past two months, Ritzler said, the county has plowed nearly 100,000 miles, building a total cost of $561,000. Fortunately, he said they did spend less in February – but that may just have been because the month was shorter, Ritzler explained. Read the rest of this entry »

Pothole Repairs Continue on County Roads

By: Anita Goodan
Published: February 25th, 2014

Efforts continue to repair blemishes on county roadways.

Starke County Highway Superintendent Rik Ritzler said the patch truck has been out and crews have been filling potholes on county roads 300 East, 900 East, and 1100 East, as well as Circle Avenue and Toto Road.

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High Water Areas May Hinder Travel

By: Anita Goodan
Published: February 21st, 2014

Water remains high in portions of the area today. INDOT and local crews have been scouting out high water areas on roadways and posting signs warning of high water areas. If you encounter high water, do not attempt to drive through it. Turn around and find a different route to your destination.

Starke County Highway Department officials are reporting high water at the intersection of 250 N. and 100 W., 50 S. between 700 E. and 800 E. and 300 E. between 50 S. and 100 S. Signs have been posted. Most roads including state roads have standing water at least in one lane.

What was once standing water could have frozen overnight which could cause extremely dangerous driving conditions.

Starke County Crews Working to Clear Roads

By: Anita Goodan
Published: February 18th, 2014

Starke County Highway Superintendent Stephen "Rik" Ritzler

Starke County Highway Superintendent Stephen “Rik” Ritzler

The Starke County Highway snow plows will be out in full force this morning to try and keep up with the snow that has falled and drifted in the area.

Highway Superintendent Rik Ritzler told WKVI News crews have been called out this morning to tend to the roads.

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Highway Crews to do Their Best in Clearing Snow

By: Anita Goodan
Published: February 17th, 2014

The Starke County Highway snow plows will be out in full force to try and keep up with the snow that is falling and drifting in the area.

Highway Superintendent Rik Ritzler told WKVI News that if the snow gets to be too much to keep up with, then the plows will be taken off the roads. When blowing and drifting becomes an issue, it does no good for the crews to be out as roads drift shut just as soon as they pass.

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Travel Advisories Updated

Published: February 6th, 2014

 Starke County has moved from a Red Travel Warning to an Orange Travel Watch status. That means essential travel, such as trips to and from work, is now allowed. County officials implemented the warning at 4 p.m. yesterday. Emergency Management Agency Director Ted Bombagetti says that gave Starke County Highway Department snow plow drivers room to work before they were pulled off the road at 6 p.m. to rest, and they were able to make tremendous progress clearing roads. Read the rest of this entry »

Starke County Highway Department Still Assessing Roads

By: WKVI Information Center
Published: January 27th, 2014

Starke County Highway Superintendent Stephen "Rik" Ritzler

Starke County Highway Superintendent Stephen “Rik” Ritzler

The temperature is hovering right around 0 degrees but it feels like -19 degrees with the bitter wind chill, and the high winds are giving road cleanup crews a run for their money. Starke County Highway Superintendent Rik Ritzler told WKVI this afternoon that crews have been busy since 5 a.m. wrestling with the drifting snow, but it’s hard going.

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Starke Highway Department Gets Green Light for Inspection Supervisor

By: WKVI Information Center
Published: January 21st, 2014

Starke County Highway Superintendent Stephen "Rik" Ritzler

Starke County Highway Superintendent Stephen “Rik” Ritzler

The Starke County Highway Department will soon be on the search for a new employee after the county commissioners last night gave authorization for Highway Superintendent Rik Ritzler to create a new position in his department. Ritzler asked that the commissioners approve his request to ultimately hire a construction inspection supervisor, which would allow the county to forgo hiring inspectors for projects.

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Severe Winter Storm is Over, But Watch for Potholes

By: WKVI Information Center
Published: January 14th, 2014

Starke County Highway Superintendent Stephen "Rik" Ritzler

Starke County Highway Superintendent Stephen “Rik” Ritzler

INDOT is urging drivers in Northwest Indiana to be on alert for potholes on interstates, U.S. highways, and state routes after the fluctuating temperatures following last week’s severe winter weather has caused numerous potholes to form quickly. As temperatures continue to rise and fall through the winter season, more potholes are likely to form.

INDOT said in a press release, “When the Indiana Department of Transportation is not clearing snow, ice or storm debris, crews are focused on maintaining and preserving the state’s roads and bridges, which mainly consists of pothole patching in the winter months.”

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Starke Commissioners Hear Highway Department Plowing Effort Update

By: WKVI Information Center
Published: January 13th, 2014

The Starke County Commissioners last week received an update from the county highway department and its plowing efforts. Highway Superintendent Rik Ritzler told the commissioners that his trucks have traveled a total of 14,163 miles since Jan. 2, plowing 11,654 miles total. He said 1500 of those miles were supervisor miles and 984 maintenance miles.

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