The Starke County Highway Department has a goal to make sure that more than 90 percent of all county-maintained stop signs have high reflectivity by the end of the year.
Highway Superintendent Rik Ritzler recently informed County Commissioners that there are about 1,089 stops signs within Starke County and currently nearly 760, or 70 percent of them, have high reflectivity.
While there is still progress to be made, the county has come a long way.
Ritzler noted that the county has a total of 5,576 signs that the Highway Department maintains. In 2013, less than 10 percent of signs were of the high-reflectivity variety and that number has steadily improved in recent years and is now around 29 percent.
Ritzler noted that having high reflectivity signs is a state-mandated requirement and added that it helps with improving visibility and therefore assists with driver safety.
He said, ultimately, 100 percent of the County’s signs need to have high reflectivity and added that there is a plan in place to accomplish that.
Ritzler also provided commissioners with a summary of the signs that were replaced last month, noting that they had to be changed out for a variety of reasons such as damage, vandalism, or lack of high reflectivity.
In December, a total of 99 signs were replaced including 1 cross traffic sign, 1 speed limit sign, 3 stop aheads, 4 chevron signs, 5 all way signs, 10 object markers, 12 double arrows and 31 road markers and 32 stop signs. He added that the material cost for the signs was approximately $5,500 and the associated labor cost around $1,000.