Starke 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.
The Starke County Highway Department has plenty of salt and sand on hand to finish winter operations. Superintendent Rik Ritzler says even with the significant amount of snow that fell in February they’ve used considerably less than last year. Continue reading
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
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
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
The former Starke County Sheriff’s Department prisoner transport van will soon be converted for use by coroner Adam Gray. President of the Starke County Commissioners Kent Danford tells WKVI news he’s checked the vehicle out and deemed it road-worthy for the coroner. Continue reading
Starke County Highway Department plow drivers are ready for whatever Mother Nature brings. Superintendent Rik Ritzler says they work strategically since they don’t have the resources to clear roads around the clock. Continue reading
Starke County officials are keeping a close eye on the weather and may issue travel restrictions if necessary. Emergency Management Agency Director Ted Bombagetti says the county commissioners have the final say and consider several factors, including the safety of snow plow drivers, first responders and the public in general.
He adds the county highway and EMA have been rehearsing their response to a winter weather emergency since late summer.
“We’re kind of like the fashion stores where in the winter time they’ve got the swimsuits out. We’re always preparing a season ahead. The drivers have been out practicing their areas.” Continue reading
The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Weather Advisory for the Kankakee Valley tonight into tomorrow morning. Snow is expected to overspread the area this evening and continue overnight, with three to five inches possible. Continue reading
Showcase your creativity and support for the community by entering a design in the Starke County Highway Department’s logo contest. Continue reading
A three-quarter stretch of Starke County Road 800 East will be closed today. Highway Superintendent Rik Ritzler tells WKVI News crews will be sealing the deck of the new bridge over Eagle Creek. As a result, 800 East will be closed between 50 South and 25 North. The road will reopen Sunday morning.
The new bridge over Bogus Run on Starke County 900 East will open again to traffic on Monday. The bridge just west of 100 West has been closed since August. LaPorte Construction is sealing the deck of that bridge. They also replaced the bridge over Eagle Creek on 800 East just north of 50 South. It reopened recently as well. Continue reading
Starke County Highway Department snow plow drivers who take out mail boxes with their blades will have to help repair them. Highway Superintendent Rik Ritzler says they will assist the department’s sign repair crew as schedules allow. He hopes it will provide an incentive for drivers to be more careful as they clear roads this winter. Continue reading
The Starke County Highway Department is already making plans for next year’s scheduled road improvements. Superintendent Rik Ritzler says they’ve been hauling in loads of stone and may have it all stockpiled by the end of the year if the weather continues to cooperate. Continue reading
The Starke County Highway Department is ready for winter weather. Superintendent Rik Ritzler says the county has plenty of salt and sand stockpiled to help melt ice and make roads passable. Also, Ritzler says the necessary winter equipment is ready to go. Continue reading
The Starke County Highway Department got through the summer without any accidents or injuries. Highway Superintendent Rik Ritzler says the last one occurred in February of this year. Each employee received a letter of commendation for helping to ensure a safe summer. Continue reading
Starke County Highway Department employees remained accident free this summer. Highway Superintendent Rik Ritzler told the commissioners this week there were no reported accidents or injuries between June 21st and September 21st. Highway department employees drove more than 89,000 miles and spent quite a bit of time doing road work that required traffic control during that three month period. Continue reading
The Starke County Highway Department is wrapping up road improvements for the year. Superintendent Rik Ritzler says they’ve improved more than 120 miles of roads through a combination of chip and fog sealing, asphalt paving and wedging and crack sealing. That’s the most road miles improved in a single year by the Starke County Highway Department. Continue reading
The Starke County Commissioners are set to hire a new county EMS director. Keith Emigh has served in an interim capacity since Paul Matthewson resigned in July and was one of the applicants for the position. That hiring is one of the items on their agenda for today’s meeting. Continue reading
Starke County’s annual bridge maintenance program is almost complete. Highway Superintendent Rik Ritzler says the county is awaiting the final inspection on each of the 58 bridges. Crews cleaned the deck and drains on each bridge, sealed all of the concrete decks, made minor repairs and added rip rap to about half of the structures to help prevent erosion. Once the inspections are complete a full report will be posted on the county’s website.