June 19, 2024

Highway Department

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Jeff Hargens – Highway Superintendent

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Assistant Hwy Super:   Dan Fischer
Shop Manager:   Jeff Phinney
Office Manager:   Chris Schaefers
   Auditor Liaison:   Nicole Gortmaker

 

                                     ~ADDRESS~                                                       ~EMAILS~
                                    810 E 2nd Street                                    [email protected]
                                   Miller, SD 57362                                    [email protected]
                                    (605) 853-3292                                   [email protected]

 

~HOURS~
Office Hours: Monday – Thursday  7:00 – 5:30

 

Click on image to enlarge

The Hand County Highway department maintains 230 miles of paved roads and 185 miles of gravel roads on the county road system.  They maintain 107 bridges on the state inspection list as well as numerous smaller bridges, box culverts and metal culverts.  The department has 12 full time employees which includes three administrative personnel, and on occasion seasonal employees.  

We are responsible for the coordination of the maintenance of the Hand County Highway system.  We perform maintenance, snow removal and function as project coordinator on gravel, bridge, and right-of-way projects as well as other necessary jobs and activities. We are subject to be on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week including all holidays, Saturdays and Sundays.

Harrison Township is the only unorganized township in the county.  Inherently by default their roads fall under the responsibility of the Hand County Highway department.  Any problems with the roads in other townships should be directed to the Township Chairman.  To find out who your chairman is, click on the link below.

2023 Township Officers

If any of the information on this list is out of date please let us know.

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To learn more about the Road & Bridge Tax Levy please click on the link below and take 30 minutes to educate yourself:

 CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE ROAD & BRIDGE TAX POWER POINT PRESENTATION

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RURAL ACCESS INFRASTRUCTURE FUND GRANT

ATTENTION ALL TOWNSHIPS:  Funding opportunity available

Does you’re Township have small bridges or culverts you need to replace?  The South Dakota Legislature created the Rural Access Infrastructure Fund to help townships and counties repair and replace culverts and bridges on township and county secondary roads.

For this particular program Townships need to fill out their own applications individually.

Check out the Townships section of our website under the Auditors menu or click on this link to go to the South Dakota Townships website.  They are more than happy to answer any questions you may have about the RAIF program.

2024 UPDATE: RAIF WILL INCLUDE STRUCTURES ON MINIMUM MAINTENANCE ROADS

If you have any SMALL STRUCTURES on MINIMUM MAINTENANCE ROADS please let us know so we can put them on the list of structures in the county.

UPDATES TO THE RURAL ACCESS INFRASTRUCTURE FUND GRANT: SB124 has made it permissible to use RAIF Funds on culverts and small bridges on Minimum Maintenance Roads.

If you would like to apply for funds for any structures on minimum maintenance roads please let us know so we can get the process rolling.

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 5 YEAR ROAD CONSTRUCTION PLAN with MAPS

Every year we create a 5 year plan.  This plan lists the roads in our county and helps us choose which one to work on by the severity of wear issues.  These plans serve as a guideline for our budgeting and to keep track of what road issues were addressed in the past.  We try to maintain a 7-8 year rotation on roads with occasional patching and spot treatments in order to keep roads in reasonably good condition.

Please note these plans are tentative and susceptible to changes as scheduling, financing and other unplanned issues arise.

2023-2027 Five Year Plan (7/1/23)

2023 – Hand Co Projects Completed Map

2024 – Hand Co 5 Year Plan Map

2025- Hand Co 5 Year Plan Map

2026 – Hand Co 5 Year Plan Map

2027 – Hand Co 5 Year Plan Map

2028 – Hand Co 5 Year Plan Map

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BRIDGE IMPROVEMENT GRANT INFORMATION

Below are maps indicating the structures that received Bridge Improvement Primary Engineering Grants (BIG PE Grants). These were selected for Engineering Review from the applications we submitted in 2022 and 2023. The bridges have been reviewed and are now put in the running for replacement or removal grants in the upcoming years. If it is designated as a removal it is noted in the text box on the map. The state will start with the structures that were selected in 2022 and work their way down the list.

Since these projects are being mostly funded by grants the state is responsible for the timeline and selecting the contractors that are going to be doing the work. Once the grant recipients are selected they will be staggering these projects over a period of time so we are not having to afford a huge expense all at once.

The average cost of one bridge is $750,000. The grant will pay 80% ($600,000) of that expense leaving Hand County with the remaining 20% ($150,000). In comparison, we annually receive an estimated $175,000 from the Wheel Tax. We were required to implement the Wheel Tax to apply for these grants. Mathematically speaking the Wheel tax will cover 1.17 bridges/year.

Two of the bridges (highlighted green) are fully (100%) funded by a Local Federal Grant and have qualified for guaranteed replacement.

 

2023 BIG PE Grant Map

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NOTICE OF RIGHT-OF-WAY LAWS

For reasons of liability, it is necessary for Hand County to enforce the state laws that protect the county right-of-ways. Anyone who compromises the roadway or its right-of-way can be charged, based on SDCL 31-32-7

Examples are, but not limited to: planting in right-of-wayirrigation water going onto roads, dumping trash in ditches and pushing snow into ditches. The charge depends on the severity of the offense and the intention of the offender. Any crops planted in the road right-of-way of county maintained roads will be removed by the Hand County Highway Department and the expense will be added to the taxes on that property.

It is the intention of the Hand County Highway Department, Hand County Planning and Zoning, and the Hand County Commissioners to support and encourage other county officials in the enforcement of these laws so as to extend the life of the county roads, reduce maintenance and replacement costs in the future, and for liability reasons.  Hand County Officials ask for your cooperation in this matter.

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PRINTABLE FORMS

OVERSIZE LOAD PERMIT

MOVING PERMIT

HAND COUNTY OVERWEIGHT PERMIT

CITIZEN COMPLAINT FORM