The County Highway Department maintains 257 miles of highway within Livingston County. County highways are generally classified as collector highways that collect traffic from the rural local road system for travel between the population centers around the county.
In addition to county roads, the department provides engineering assistance and administers township motor fuel tax funds for the thirty road districts in the county. Fees for engineering services are charged to the road districts at a rate of 4% of the final construction or maintenance costs. Each road district has an elected commissioner of highways who is responsible for the township roads. Livingston County is the fourth largest county in Illinois with 1,043 square miles but ranks number one in the state for total road district mileage with 1,612 miles.
The county has 73 bridges and the road districts have 381 bridges over 20 feet in length for which the highway department has inventory and biennial inspection responsibilities. The department also supervises the design, repair and replacement of bridges when necessary. Drainage studies and design for numerous smaller structures on the county and road district highway system are also responsibilities of the county department.
The Highway Department is administered by the County Engineer, who is appointed by the County Board for a term of six years and works with the County Board Highway Committee in developing road and bridge improvement plans. Clay Metcalf is the current County Engineer. The County Engineer is required by law to be a licensed professional engineer with sufficient highway engineering and administrative experience and must pass an Illinois Department of Transportation examination which tests knowledge of pertinent statutes and administrative policy. The County Engineer is also a non-voting member of the Livingston County Regional Planning Commission. In that capacity he reviews proposed subdivision road plans for conformity with the county’s subdivision ordinance and coordinates acceptance of rural subdivision streets with the road district commissioners.
The department is comprised of two sections: engineering/administrative and maintenance. Funding for the department’s operations comes from three local property tax levies, as well as state and federal funds. The department also competes for additional funds through special program grants administered by the Illinois Department of Transportation.
The County Highway Department cooperates with the township road districts, cities, towns, and villages in the county primarily through joint purchasing, equipment rental, and joint bridge projects. The Highway Department is located at 1705 South Manlove, Pontiac, and can be reached at 815-842-1184.