Starke Commissioners Discuss Bridge Redesigns

Starke County Highway Superintendent Stephen "Rik" Ritzler
Starke County Highway Superintendent Stephen “Rik” Ritzler
The Starke County Commissioners this week met with Mark Wilson of engineering firm Jones Petrie Rafinski to discuss bridge projects in the county. Wilson said four county bridges will be redesigned, and the contract with JPR looks good. Martin Lucas, county attorney, gave the contract his approval.

The contract calls for a cost of $140,000 to redesign all four bridges. Wilson did a similar job for the county last year; the project came in under budget and two weeks ahead of schedule. Highway Superintendent Rik Ritzler said they are still on track to replace bad bridges over the next four years, and recommended that the commissioners accept the contract.

Commissioner Kathy Norem made a motion to accept the contract and it was approved unanimously.

The highway department will also be submitting four applications to the state for project funding, including work on Bridge 27, a road widening project on County Road 500 North, a shared-use path in the county, and a construction project on County Road 600 East. He said he hopes to get at least one or two of those projects funded.

Ritzler also mentioned that the county highway has been using their newly created Facebook page to keep people informed, and it’s been working well.