Responsibilities of Today's Engineer
There are four highway systems in the State of Iowa: the Iowa Department of Transportation is responsible for almost 10,000 miles of primary roads including interstates; the Cities of Iowa are responsible for 13,000 miles of streets and alleys; the State Parks are responsible for almost 500 miles of road; and the counties are responsible for almost 88,000 miles of roadway.
The responsibilities and skills of the County Engineers should reflect the needs, activities and overall objectives set for the counties by the County Board of Supervisors.
The County Engineer is responsible for all maintenance, repair, widening, resurfacing, reconstruction of pavements and bridges on the county highway system. This includes traffic control, safety, mowing and snow removal.
In some cases, the County Engineer's responsibility also involves road access and oversize vehicles.
The County Engineer must prepare an annual budget and five year program that identifies how the county will be spending its funding on the county roads. The County Engineer must submit these documents to the Board of Supervisors for approval.
The prime source of revenue is property tax from the Rural Levy and Road Use Tax. Some counties also receive revenue from the General Levy and Local Option Sales Tax.
The Road Use Tax, which is basically the portion of the fuel tax earmarked for highway purposes, is levied at the State and Federal level. These monies are then distributed for use on State, County, City or Park highway systems by statutory formulas.
County Engineers are pressed to find other sources of funds. Some of these funds are Federal bridge replacement monies, Revitalize Iowa Sound Economy (RISE) grants, miscellaneous grants, and permit fees.
These funds can only be spent on the County system unless the Board of Supervisors has entered into an agreement with a city or the Iowa Department of Transportation.
- Design, construction, and inspection of Webster County Secondary Road system road and bridge projects contract administration
- Budgeting and program development
- Personnel administration
- Accounting functions
- Response to petitions, requests, or concerns regarding roadway drainage and traffic studies, including road vacations, temporary road closures, and speed studies
- Subdivision roadway design, approval
- Entrance permit review and approval
- Permitting of utility or other work within the county road right of way
- Oversize/overweight vehicle permit issuance
- Section corner information
- Right of way information
- Surface repairs and maintenance – this would include rocking the County’s gravel roads, paving the paved roads, pothole repairs, and shoulder rocking
- Snow removal and ice control on County Road system
- Bridge and culvert repairs
- Maintenance of existing entrances
- Sign installation and maintenance