The Highway Department is organized under the County Engineer who is appointed by the Board of Commissioners. IC 8-23-4-3 states that the county arterial highway system shall be selected by the county executive (Board of Commissioners). Our county road system consists of approximately 700 miles of road and side ditches, 203 bridges (each being 20' or more in length), 400 major culverts (each being 5' to 20' in length), numerous culverts less than 5 feet in length, and thousands of traffic signs.
The primary duties and responsibilities of the highway department are to:
- Prepare and administer the annual budget for highway related activities (Approximately $3.5 million)
- Inspect and maintain inventories of the county arterial highway system, county fleet of vehicles, and equipment
- Perform or coordinate preparation of design surveys, construction plans and specifications, acquisition of land, and construction inspection of county construction projects
- Issue permits and inspect utility work within the county road right-of-way to ensure compliance with the road cut ordinance
- Issue approvals and inspect construction of driveways intersecting county road to ensure compliance with the county driveway ordinance
- Review subdivision requests to ensure compliance with the county subdivision control ordinance for items related to traffic and drainage
- Manage and schedule construction for maintenance and repair activities performed by the county highway crews such as road overlay and chip sealing, road reconstruction, bridge and road reconstruction, bridge and culvert repair and replacement, snow removal, mowing, ditching, tree removal, spraying, and equipment repair
To efficiently manage, maintain and construct, when necessary, the Bartholomew County road system in an effort to provide the citizens safe, convenient, and efficient movement of traffic.
Superintendent: Dwight Smith
Assistant Superintendent: Jeff Whittington
Technical Supervisor: Stacey Gross
Office Manager: Karen Stoner
Prior to building a residence, commercial building or outbuilding in Bartholomew County, it is necessary to get an approval from the Highway Department for a driveway accessing the county road.
-The applicant must determine and mark, with flags and stakes, the location that he/she wants the drive to enter their property from the county road. When choosing the preferred location, be aware of the distances you can see each way when pulling into and out of the proposed drive. It is necessary to have appropriate sight distances based on the speed of the traffic using the road. Example: Do not locate a drive just past the crest of a hill.
-Call the Highway Department at 379-1660 between the hours of 7:00 AM and 3:30 PM to schedule a time to meet with the Superintendent or his assistant. Bring to the meeting the most current plat of the property. If you have a platted lot, the plat can be obtained from the Recorder's office at 440 Third Street. If your property is not platted, then you must bring the map from the Auditor's plat books showing the location of your property. This will help determine if the lot is an approved lot. The Auditor's office is also at 440 Third Street.
-The Superintendent or his/her assistant will inspect the site. He/she will check to see if sight distance requirements are met and check the need for a pipe to convey the water from the side ditch through the drive.
-After the location is approved and the pipe size, if required, is determined, the applicant may either construct the drive immediately or post a bond ($300) to allow the building to be built prior to the construction of the drive.
PROCEDURE I - Construct Drive
After the drive is constructed, call the Highway Department for approval. If the drive is approved, the permit may be obtained from the Highway Department at 2452 State Street. A copy will be faxed to the Building and Zoning Department as they require a drive approval prior to issuing a building permit.
PROCEDURE II - Post Bond to delay drive construction
If you prefer to delay the drive construction so that your pipe is not damaged during the construction of the building, you may post a bond in the amount of $300.00 in the form of a cashier's check made payable to the Bartholomew County Treasurer as a performance guarantee for the future drive construction. A copy of the approval and bond will be faxed to the Building and Zoning Department. The drive must be built within twelve months of the date of the approval form. Notify the Superintendent or his assistant when the drive has been constructed so that the bond will be released back to the applicant by the County Commissioners. The applicant will be notified when the bond is released and you may pick up the bond check at the Auditor's office at 440 Third Street.
The chip and seal program is a cost effective method that prolongs the life of the pavement. The chip and seal is a process in which a liquid asphalt is sprayed on the road and small chips of stone are spread on and rolled into the liquid. This process seals the road and gives it an additional wearing surface.
Prior to overlaying a road with asphalt, the highway department will berm or remove the buildup along the edge to allow the stone to be exposed and drain water that might be standing on the edge. This allows for better drainage off the road and allows the road to be paved as wide as possible.
The county tries to keep the shoulders of the road mowed for safety reasons. The clear shoulder helps increase safety, due to the narrow pavements on most county roads. Mowing increases the ability to see when pulling out at intersections. The county will generally mow a five foot width and the property owner should maintain the rest.
The speed bump is an increased hazard to the unwary, a challenge to the daredevil, a disruption of the movement of emergency vehicles, the cause of an undesirable increase in noise, and a real problem to snow removal. Courts have held public agencies liable for personal injuries resulting from faulty design. Because speed bumps have considerable potential for liability suits, Bartholomew County does not use them as a traffic control device.
Stop sign requests will not be accepted.
Stop signs installed in the wrong places for the wrong purposes usually create more problems than they solve. The common misuse of stop signs is to arbitrarily interrupt traffic by causing it to stop or by causing such an inconvenience that motorists are forced to use other routes. Studies show that speed is reduced in the immediate vicinity of the "nuisance" stop sign but were actually higher between intersections than before they were installed.