The Starke County Highway Department is keeping an eye on alternate routes trucks are taking to access the Knox Industrial Park while planning for a long-term solution. The City of Knox recently started enforcing a truck route to keep tractor-trailers off Culver Road and other residential streets. The marked truck route uses State Road 8 to 300 East. Starke County Highway Superintendent Rik Ritzler says some over-the-road drivers are also turning by Kem-Co and taking 200 South.
He told the county commissioners Monday they’re not tearing the road up yet. The highway department is keeping a close eye on the route and making minor repairs as needed.
Ritzler is also working with Starke County Economic Development Foundation Executive Director to have Google Maps update their route to direct trucks to State Road 8 and 300 East. They also plan to talk to businesses in the industrial park about the truck route and ask them to have their delivery drivers use State Road 8. Ritzler says the county may also look at the 2021 call for projects for a more permanent solution.
Eventual plans call for 300 East to be upgraded all the way to Toto Road, which Ritzler says is built for trucks. However, he says the hill just to the west of the intersection is dangerous for trucks making the turn. Ritzler says a sight-distance correction will be needed in order to make the route a viable option. He adds the county may also submit upgrade plans during a local/rural call for projects.