The Highway Department employs crews consisting of skilled laborers, drivers and mechanics. The Highway Department maintains county highways by repairing and resurfacing pavements and berms, mowing roadsides, removing debris, installing traffic signs, and constructing culverts and bridges. In winter months, they plow and salt roads to keep traffic moving safely.
The bridge crew maintains an inventory of over 440 county bridges by washing, clearing debris and patching bridge decks and railing when needed. The crew typically builds several new short-span bridges each year including box culverts and large pipe culverts replacing old, deteriorated bridges. They also perform regular maintenance on existing bridges including pothole and deck repairs, railing repairs, cleaning drains and repairing concrete.
The highway crew maintains the pavement on over 421 miles of county highways. Each summer, crews perform seal coating to select roads based on a yearly inspection of pavement condition. The crew maintains and restores berms and repairs pavement when needed. They maintain the ditches and waterways under and along county roads. Licking County has an inventory of over 3000 culverts and crew replaces and repairs dozens each year to stay ahead of normal life cycle deterioration. The crew also cleans roadside ditches to keep them draining freely. The crew also performs tree clearing and other road work as needed.
The maintenance crew is responsible for repairs and up-keep of all vehicles and equipment. Mechanics need to have a thorough understanding of hydraulic systems and electrical wiring, as well as general automotive and mechanical knowledge. Some of the major work done by the mechanics is engine rebuilds, rear-end rebuild and set-ups and transmission rebuilds. Mechanics also perform regular preventive maintenance on vehicles and equipment to extend the service life of the county’s fleet of vehicles and equipment. Mechanics work not only inside the shop but also out on the road to make repairs under any weather conditions, including winter storms.
The sign crew is responsible for daily traffic control or road closures for roads, bridges and guardrail maintenance as well as any emergency situation that may occur. They also have the duty of maintaining over 14,000 signs and maintaining the striping and stenciling for 421 miles of roadway.
The weld crew primary responsibilities are to weld, heat, cute, shape, and join metal and bulk metal parts necessary for the maintenance and repair of motorized equipment, equipment attachments, and bridge flooring plates and support structures as well as general welding for metal garage structures. Employees in this class are responsible for completing work assignments on an individual basis, requiring the use of different welding methods, materials and procedures necessary to achieve the maintenance of equipment, bridge structures, and other related assignments.
One of the most important responsibilities of the Highway Department is to maintain the best practical conditions for two lanes of travel on roads in the winter by plowing and salting 421 miles of icy roads. All Highway Department crews are on-call 24/7 during winter months and are ready to work when needed to ensure that roads remain open and safe for travel.