Starke County’s truck route ordinance will take effect June 1 following adoption Monday by the county commissioners. It applies to all vehicles with a gross combined vehicle weight of more than 38,000 pounds, which is the same standard the state uses. They are prohibited from using light vehicle routes unless a free permit is issued by the highway department or they qualify for an exemption. Registered farm vehicles, delivery trucks and school buses are exempt.
Highway Superintendent Rik Ritzler says the long-term goal is to improve conditions for all motorists by adding 123 miles of hot mix asphalt roads throughout the county within the next decade. Once that’s done, he says every location in the county will be within a mile of either a hot mix county road or a state highway. For now he says farmers, over-the-road and delivery drivers need to use the quickest route possible to get to a more suitable road.
Ritzler adds having an asset management plan in place will help the county draw down a maximum amount of state funding to improve and maintain roads.
He stresses the ordinance is not intended to restrict any local farming or business operation.
Ritzler does want local farmers, business owners and truck drivers to let him know the routes they take on a regular basis so he can plan accordingly. Drivers and owner/operators will be issued free permits, which will in turn let the highway department know which roads may need shoulders and other improvements as resources allow
Click Starke County Truck Route Ordinance 2017 to read the entire measure. Farmers, truck drivers and others who need to obtain permits can contact the Starke County Highway Department at 574-772-3011 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.