Motorists traveling between Knox and Winamac on U.S. 35 can avoid taking the long way around during the next few weeks of road work. INDOT has closed the highway from 850 S. to the Starke/Pulaski County line in order to replace a culvert. The state’s marked detour sends drivers west on 10, south on 39 and back east on 14 because INDOT can only use roads maintained by the state to divert traffic. Starke County Highway Superintendent Rik Ritzler says drivers heading south on 35 can turn left on 800 S., right on 600 East and right on 900 S. to get past the construction and back to U.S. 35. Northbound motorists can follow that route in reverse. Ritzler says those roads are paved and are more suited to heavy traffic. He says several drivers have used 850 S. and 400 E. to get around the construction. Those roads are gravel and are becoming rutted. The project should wrap up by the end of the month, weather permitting.
News Tagged ‘Starke County Highway Department’
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 »
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.
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.
Highway Superintendent Rik Ritzler told WKVI News crews have been called out this morning to tend to the roads.
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.
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 »
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.”