The Steele County Highway Department provides a safe, efficient, coordinated transportation system that is responsive to community values and meets the needs of all users within resource limitations.
The Highway Department is responsible for the construction and maintenance of over 377 centerline miles of road including 132 bridges. The highway system is categorized by funding sources. County State Aid Highways (CSAH) consist of 313 miles and gas tax revenue is distributed by the State of Minnesota to assist in the construction and maintenance of these highways. County Roads (CR) consist of 64 miles and the local property tax levy, wheelage tax and sales tax funds the construction and maintenance of these roads.
Programming of road and bridge construction includes project scheduling, surveys, design, right-of-way acquisition and contract administration. Routine County Highway maintenance includes drainage repairs, surface repairs, snow and ice control and traffic management (signing/signalization).
The Highway Department is responsible for the management of capital infrastructure with costs of $88,375,726. This infrastructure consists of highways, bridges, buildings, and highway equipment. Highway Department equipment consists of 65 major units ranging from snow plow trucks, excavator, dozer, loader, backhoes, tractors, to pick-ups. Major to minor attachments make up an additional 20 pieces of equipment.
The Highway Department is administered by an appointed county engineer and is comprised of administrative, engineering, and maintenance functional areas. While the functional areas provide distinct services, collaboration and coordination throughout the department, other county departments and external agencies is standard operating procedure in service delivery.
Two employees are responsible for oversight and administration of all department services. Customer service, permit processing, cost accounting and financial reporting, billing, payroll, policy development and collaboration.
Five employees are primarily responsible for planning programming, survey, design, right of way acquisition, construction inspection, materials sampling and testing, and project administration for all highway and bridge construction projects. Other services include the review and processing of utility, oversize load vehicle, and access permits pursuant to County policy. Bridge safety inspections for all bridges on the County and Township road systems are performed on an annual basis.
Sixteen employees are primarily responsible for snow and ice removal, pavement maintenance, roadside drainage repairs and improvements, gravel road surfacing and grading, traffic sign management, installation and replacement of 7,000 signs, roadside mowing, brush, noxious weed management and managing in house and external maintenance and repairs of the departments fleet of heavy equipment and vehicles. Sign management, repairs and replacements of 1,300 signs, for eleven townships on a contract basis is also managed by the maintenance staff.