Breaking Down Road Maintenance Duties in the Town of Plainfield
Ensuring properly maintained roads is a core value of the Town of Plainfield’s Department of Public Works (DPW), and a responsibility owed to the residents and visitors in Plainfield. Easy and smooth road travel is essential for school transportation, public safety and area businesses, especially in the winter months. However, several road systems converge in Plainfield and responsibilities vary for each. There are many different entities responsible for plowing roads, filling potholes and repaving roadways. It is important to understand whose jurisdiction each road system belongs to, whether it falls to the state, county or town.
Interstates and U.S. Highways
We are lucky to have quick access to downtown Indianapolis and westward via Interstate 70. I-70 is an interconnected piece of the national interstate system, maintained by the state of Indiana. U.S. 40, which extends right through the heart of Plainfield, is a U.S. highway and is also maintained by the state of Indiana. Because U.S. 40 runs down the center of our town, residents are often surprised when informed that the roadway is not maintained by our DPW. In fact, town officials can only make recommendations or requests to the state for any improvements, snow removal, street signs or traffic lights along U.S. 40. Although the town enjoys a strong relationship with our state partners, these roads are not under the authority of the Town of Plainfield.
There are other roads in Plainfield maintained by the state. State Road 267 runs from U.S. 40 northbound to Avon, and from U.S. 40 southbound (Quaker Boulevard) to I-70. There are sections of the landscaping and medians maintained by Plainfield through a special agreement, and the road is otherwise maintained by the state.
Often the most confused road responsibilities involve county roads. These include sections (County Road 600 East, for example) that fall within the jurisdiction of the county, and other areas that have been renamed and are under the town’s authority. County roads are identified mostly by a numerical system that corresponds to their location within the county. Roads are numbered, therefore, based on proximity to the meridian and baselines in the county. For example, County Road 200 North is located two miles north of the baseline.
However, there are a number of county neighborhoods that have “named” streets in proximity to the Town of Plainfield, but are not actually inside the town limits. The town does not have authority or responsibility for snow removal or maintenance of roads outside the town limits.
Most roads in the Town of Plainfield are “named” roads as identified on intersection signs. There are some cases where annexations have occurred and streets still have County Road markers, but eventually those will be renamed once they are officially relinquished to the town. The Plainfield DPW maintains all town roads, and has established a reputation for speedy snow removal. Further, DPW has a rating system in place that provides staff with a score that is updated regularly for all road conditions. Once a road’s score identifies a need, the roads are serviced accordingly. Efforts include road patching, crack sealing, resurfacing or reconstructing.
All government agencies try to anticipate road maintenance, snow treatment and construction needs before they are needed. The Town of Plainfield prides itself in planning for the future. Town engineers are currently developing an update to the local Thoroughfare Plan in order to prepare for the growing population and town development. Needs can dramatically change with Indiana weather.
The Town of Plainfield values partnerships with the county and state in order to protect our residents and visitors.