Highway Department:

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Highway Department

Frequently Asked Questions


I am going to install a new mailbox, what type do you recommend?
We recommend a metal box on a 4" x 4" wood post. The post must be made of breakaway material (Permanent fixtures are prohibited). From past experience the designer plastic mailboxes do not hold up well when hit with snow thrown from a plow.
I live on a Rock Island County Highway and my mailbox was knocked down by a snowplow, who do I contact?
You can contact the Rock Island County Highway Department at (309) 787-4668. If it is determined that a County snowplow did indeed knock down your mailbox the Highway Department will replace the mailbox with a U.S. Postal Department regulation metal box on a 4" x 4" wood post.
Are County maps available to the public?
Yes. County maps were updated in July of 2003 and are available at the Rock Island County Highway Department at no charge.
How does the County determine when to resurface a highway?
The County has a five, ten and twenty year plan which is updated each year. Each County Highway is given a rating based on the condition of the road and the County Highways with the worst rating are given top priority.
Who is responsible for maintenance of the roads?
There are basically four different highway authorities that have maintenance responsibilities within Rock Island County. Listed are the highway authorities along with the general jurisdictional responsibility:

City of Village: Is responsible for all public streets within the corporate limits except any State or county roads within the corporate limits.

County: Is responsible for all county roads which, in general, consist of main collector routes. County roads can also exist within the corporate limits of a city of village.

State: Is responsible for all marked and unmarked state routes and interstates. State roads can exist within the corporate limits of a city or village.

Township (Road District): Is responsible for all township roads within a given township. Roads on township lines may be the responsibility of either of the adjacent townships and it may change from one section to another. Township roads cannot exist within the corporate limits of a city or village. Therefore, if the corporate limits of a road is adjacent to or included within any part of the right-of-way that road is the maintenance responsibility of the city or village.
What are the County Policies regarding snow plowing?
While every highway authority provides snow removal in some form, they all provide a very different level of services depending on who the authority is. This variation in level of services is due to the availability of resources, or lack thereof. For example, the State has enough resources to run snow plows 24 hours a day, if necessary, by using temporary employees. On the other hand, the county has a far more limited number of maintenance employees, making a 24-hour per day snow removal operation impossible under the current limitations. Townships often have even fewer resources than the county, which limits their operations as well.

In order to minimize overtime expenditures the county tries to perform snow-plowing operations during normal business hours (7 A.M. to 3:30 P.M.) However, there are times when that is not feasible without compromising the safety of the public. When work outside normal business hours is required, the county uses the following general guidelines:

As a general rule, the county makes every attempt to keep all the county roads passable during the time when a majority of the public will be traveling to or from work (7A.M to 6 P.M.), Monday through Friday. If through the night there is substantial snowfall or if wind causes substantial drifting of snow, plowing operations will begin usually around 4:00 A.M. so that at least one round can be completed on all roads. On weekends starting times may be a little later in the morning.

If snowfall is minimal or has quit completely and drifting is not significant, snow-plowing operations will stop by 3:30 P.M. If however, there is significant snowfall or drifting anticipated the county will generally stay on the roads until 5 or 6 P.M. The county may stay out until as late at 8 P.M. or so, although this is rare. The maintenance worker that is out until 8 P.M. is the same one that will be out the following morning at 4 A.M. Driving a snowplow truck, especially while it is dark and when there is little visibility, is a very exhausting job and rest for the driver is very important for the safety of the worker as well as for the general public. Rarely will the county ever be out between 8:00 P.M. and 4:00 A.M. For this reason, we suggest that traveling during this time period be kept to an absolute minimum during inclement roadway conditions.
What materials does Rock Island County use for ice control?
Currently the county uses a mixture of salt, and sand. The salt melts and/or prevents ice or snow on the road. The sand provides an abrasive for better traction with the road surface. It is important to note that salt does not work at extremely low temperatures and there are times in which ice may be on the road where we do not apply salt for this very reason. Also, if high winds are present, often times ice control materials are not applied. When the wind is blowing hard and the temperature is cold enough, snow will often times blow across the road rather than build up on the road. If ice control materials are on the road they tend to catch the snow and start the process of drifting.
Who do I notify if there is a road hazard on a county road?
Often times hazardous conditions develop on public roads such as trees or limbs falling on the roadway, debris falling off of trucks, roads are washed out during heavy rainfall, water on the road, etc. If a potentially hazardous condition exists on a road you should contact the Sheriff's Department at (309) 794-9111 who will then notify the appropriate highway authority.
I noticed a dead deer lying on the road, who should I contact?
Dead animals on the roadway can often times be a hazard to the traveling public. If a large dead animal (a large dog, deer, etc.) is lying on the roadway and is creating a hazardous situation to drivers, you should call 911. If the animal is lying off to the side of the road and is not creating a hazardous situation, please contact the appropriate highway authority that has jurisdiction of that road. The highway departments should all have answering machines so that you can leave a message describing the location of the animal if it is after hours.
How do I find out where the right-of-way is located on my property?
If you don't know exactly where the right-of-way line is, contact the appropriate highway authority. The right-of-way on state and county roads are usually well documented, but township roads often times are not. However, the individual Township Road Commissioner's can usually tell you where it is.

Before doing anything within the right-of-way, please contact the appropriate highway authority!
How do I obtain Entrance Access to a County Highway?
When a property owner wants to construct an entrance from their property to the County Highway the first step is to contact the Highway Department requesting an entrance permit. You will be required to identify the location with stakes and/or marking paint. A representative from the Highway Department will inspect the site to determine if the necessary sight distance exists on the County Highway and will determine what size of culvert, if any, is needed under the entrance. If the location is acceptable a permit will be mailed along with a typical drawing on how to construct the entrance to the Highway Department specifications. Once the entrance is constructed the permit shall be signed, dated and returned to the Highway Department. A representative will inspect the new entrance to determine if it was built according to the Department specifications, failure to do so will result in the Highway Department rebuilding the driveway, to the specifications, and the cost of doing so will be charged to the owner. There is no fee associated with the driveway access permit.

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John Massa Click to send e-mail - County Engineer
Rock Island County Highway Department (map ExternalLink.gif)
851 10th Avenue West - P.O. Box 797, Milan Illinois 61264

Phone: (309) 787-4668      Fax: (309) 787-4680      Hours: 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM - Monday thru Friday
For Comments: highway@co.rock-island.il.us
After hours, weekends and holidays: County Radio-Sheriff's Department: (309) 794-9111