GOSHEN — Elkhart County road crews will begin shaving back road berms May 5 to finish a countywide project begun last year.
“They target three to four feet from the edge of the pavement,” John Bowers of the highway department told county commissioners Monday morning. “This cuts the berm if it’s high.”
The work is being done to create better drainage along county roadways.
Bowers said the department received complaints from some property owners last year about the work. He said the biggest issue was that residents have placed underground lawn sprinkler systems in the road right of way and some of those were damaged by the work last year.
That occurred despite the department putting up signs ahead of the work that notified property owners of the pending grading.
Bowers said some of the signs were vandalized with rude remarks about the work. This year the schedule of work with a map will be on the county’s website.
Last year most of the eastern part of the county was graded. This year the work will be south of New Paris and in the western half of the county.
Commissioner Mike Yoder said last year’s grading impacted residents along his road.
“Your guys knocked out the phone line,” Yoder said. “That was because it was down two inches.”
Utility companies mark underground lines two weeks ahead of the work, according to Bowers.
Bowers said the grading will go down 6 inches to a foot in some places, so he urges residents take action ahead of the grading to protect their sprinkler systems. He said residents should remove their sprinkler systems that are in the road right of way by digging them up and rolling them back away from the road until the work is finished.
“People consider it their lawn area and we are sympathetic to that,” Bowers said.
The work is expected to take eight weeks to complete.
• The commissioners were the final county government entity to approve a $500,000 expenditure for helping Ivy Tech build a new advance manufacturing technology center at the C.R. 18 campus. The Elkhart County Redevelopment Commission and the Elkhart County Council have already approved the expenditure.
• The commissioners took action to approve several rezoning and plat maps for industrial projects.
Follow Roger Schneider on Twitter @rschneider_tgn