Starke County Highway Department Continues Safety Measures (11/11)

posted Nov 11, 2017, 8:38 AM by North Judson-Wayne Township Public Library
Posted on November 11, 2017
Author Anita Goodan, WKVI 

Starke County Highway Department crews are continuing efforts to make county roadways safer for drivers.

Highway Superintendent Rik Ritzler said the installation of reflective post enhancers is ongoing.

“We’ve put the reflectors on the stop signs and they’ve worked very well,” said Ritzler. “We’re doing that throughout the county and we’re about a fifth of the way done. There is still a lot to go with that.”

“We’re also going to put these reflectors on the bridges. All of our new bridges have these reflectors on them. If you’ve gone down one of the new bridges, it looks like a runway. None of our old bridges have them and one reason why we never did that in the past is because they cost so much. They’re $17 a reflector and there are 50 to 60 on a bridge. We found a vendor when I was at my last conference that sells them for $3 apiece. So, we’re going to put them on all of the bridges and we can do that for just a few thousand dollars.”

Highway crew members have also been training in snow plow operations. A representative from the Kosciusko County Highway Department recently visited to relay information to the drivers and Bliss McKnight will be in to discuss safety and liability on Tuesday, Nov. 14.

Ritzler said on the job training will be coming soon.

“The first few times somebody plows we don’t have them plowing. They sit with an experienced driver. After about the second or third snowfall, they’ll get in the driver’s seat. The experienced driver will get in the other seat. As you know, we have a lot of drivers who haven’t been through a heavy snowfall. The last really heavy season was in 2014 and about half of our drivers came to the department after that.”

Other training will be ongoing throughout the winter months.