Last week, Tippecanoe Township resident Rick Fites appeared before the Marshall Count Commissioners to ask why the roads in Tippecanoe Township are in such disrepair. He also asked if the commissioners drive their district and if so, how often. Mr. Fites also asked if all the county highway department keeps their equipment under roof. He said there was a back-hoe down by his property for over a month and a half sitting outside rusting.
Commissioners Kevin Overmyer told Fites the highway department will be repairing some roads in Tippecanoe Township with the 2022 Road Plan. He said he wasn’t sure what roads were being improved but Fites could get a copy of the 2022 Road Plan from Highway Superintendent Jason Peters.
The commissioners said they each drive their complete districts at least 2 to 3 times a year.
Highway Superintendent Peters commented on the equipment being left sitting and if the equipment was stored under roof. He said the majority of their equipment is housed under roof although they don’t have enough room to keep everything there. He also said it’s not feasible to have a tractor out brush-chopping or a back-hoe for a job and bring it back to the garage every night.
Superintendent Peters told Mr. Fites that he started with a road plan in 2015 after 8 to 10 years of neglect. He said it will take another 10 to 15 years to get around to all the roads, noting there are over 900 miles of roads for the county to care for.
Peters also explained the PASER rating system the county uses. He said over the past 6 years the county has seen improvement. In 2015 about 85% of the county roads were ranked as bad. The latest ratings show about 48% of the roads are bad in Marshall County. While that number isn’t good, Peters said he believes it shows improvement.
The county is focused on preventative maintenance. Peters said, “I completely understand the public’s frustration. I get that 100%. The only thing I can say is we are working our way to doing the best we can based upon what we’ve got. It is going to take time to get to that point.”