Several roads around Starke County have spent many days underwater due to the recent floods. This extended exposure to saturation will most likely result in many sections of roadway needing previously unplanned repairs.
On Sunday, Starke County Highway Superintendent Rik Ritzler took county and state officials on a tour of the area to highlight some of the spots that were hit the hardest by flood waters.
He explained that once the waters recede enough, crews will be conducting thorough assessments around the county to see where work will need to be done.
“When this goes down, we have to reassess the roads, do our PASER ratings on the roads, check the bridges again so we’ll be busy doing that and we’re probably going to have to readjust our asset management plan a little bit.”
Ritzler said that after they are done assessing they will move onto repairs. He said fortunately, there is money available to the Highway Department to help with these flood-response efforts.
“We were lucky, the Community Crossings Grant money we got this last year are bridges that we have already done, we can kind of use it for anything we want really,” Rizler explained, “it will be very helpful to us. We paid for those bridges ahead of time and got reimbursed for it and now we kind of just have that money that we might need to use for something here.”
Starke County Highway Department crews have been out already and will continue to assess road conditions over the next few weeks. If you come across any major problems with County roadways or bridges, notify the Highway Department at 574-772-3011.