Making necessary updates to GPS systems to reflect truck routes is a more involved process than City of Knox and Starke County officials initially realized. Last month Knox started enforcing its truck route ordinance, which prohibits through traffic weighing more than 10 tons with more than three axles from using Culver Road and other surface streets to get from U.S. 35 to the Knox Industrial Park on 300 East/Klockner Drive.
Starke County Economic Development Foundation Executive Director Charlie Weaver says they’ve hired a strategic planning group to share route information with each of the dozens of GPS providers truckers use. He says once it is updated drivers will be directed to the truck route when they program their destination and set their route parameters. Weaver says their GPS systems ask for gross vehicle weight, the number of axles, height and other parameters specific to the trucking industry.
He notes County Road 300 East from State Road 8 east to Culver Road is rated for 100 ton loads, but says the surface south of that point is a lesser quality. Eventual plans call for an upgrade south to Toto Road to accommodate truck traffic. Weaver plans to meet this week with Starke County Highway Superintendent Rik Ritzler to discuss the route prior to Monday’s county commissioners meeting. He says they will have the final say on whether or not a southern entrance is included in the truck route at this time. As of now the proposal is for all truck traffic to take State Road 8 to 300 East.
Weaver hopes to finalize the route by the end of next week so it can be submitted to the GPS providers. He told the Knox City Council last night the strategic planner will follow up with each provider to get a timeline for the implementation. He will contact them again to make sure the updates are made. Weaver admits it’s a long, arduous process, but says it’s the best way to ensure third-party drivers hauling to and from the industrial park obey the truck route guidelines.