Town of Plainfield Blog

Plainfield is a professionally-managed community of over 34,000 residents located along the Old National Road (U.S. 40) southwest of Indianapolis near the Indianapolis International Airport. A business-friendly community, Plainfield has built itself into a nationally recognized center for logistics, distribution, and e-commerce with over 43 million square feet of industrial space and growing. Plainfield has become an important center of employment in the Central Indiana region. The Town continues to enhance its economy and maintains one of the lowest tax rates in the greater Indianapolis area. Plainfield is also known for excellent schools, an extensive trail system, and its recreation and aquatic center that includes Splash Island, a 4.3-acre Caribbean-themed outdoor water park.

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Sep 04

Whose Responsibility Is It? Road Jurisdiction in the Town of Plainfield

Posted on September 4, 2019 at 12:41 PM by William Brinker

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 of Plainfield. Easy and smooth road travel is also essential for school transportation, public safety and area businesses. However, several road systems converge in Plainfield and responsibilities for each vary. It is important to understand whose jurisdiction each road system belongs to, whether it is the State, County or Town.
Interstate and US Highways
To begin, 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 that is maintained by the State of Indiana. Further, US 40, which extends right through the heart of Plainfield is a US Highway and also maintained by the State of Indiana. Due to US 40 running right down the center of our town, residents are often surprised when informed that the roadway is not maintained by our Department of Public Works. In fact, town officials can only make recommendations or requests to the state for any improvements, snow removal, street signs or traffic lights along US 40. Although the town enjoys a strong relationship and partnership with our state partners, these roads are not under the authority of the Town of Plainfield.
State Roads
There are also other roads in Plainfield that are also maintained by the state. SR 267 is a “State Road” from US 40 north to Avon and US 40 south to I-70 (Quaker Boulevard). There are sections of the landscaping and medians that are maintained by Plainfield through a special agreement however; otherwise the road is maintained by the State.
County Roads
Often the most confused road responsibility is with county roads. County Roads (CR 600 E) for example has sections that are the jurisdiction of the county and then other areas that have been renamed (Mood Road) that are under the authority of the Town. County roads are identified mostly by a numerical system that corresponds to their location within the county. Roads are numbered therefore based on their proximity or how far in miles they are from the meridian line (running north and south) and the base line (running east and west) in the county. For example, 200N is located two miles north of the base line and 750E is seven and a half miles east of the meridian line. However, there are a number of county neighborhoods that have “named” streets in proximity to the Town of Plainfield but are not actually inside Town limits. The Town of Plainfield also works well with the county, however the Town does not have authority or responsibility for snow removal or maintenance of these roads that are outside the town limits.
Town Roads
Most roads in the Town of Plainfield are “named” roads as identified on intersection signs, as an example see Vine Street or Mill Street. There are some cases where annexations have occurred and streets still have County Road markers but eventually those will be renamed once officially relinquished to the town. The Town of Plainfield’s DPW has the responsibility to maintain all town roads and has established a superior 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 the need the roads are provided the appropriate maintenance. Efforts include: patching, crack sealing, resurfacing or reconstructing throughout the life-cycle of the road.
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; the Engineering Division is currently developing an update to its Thoroughfare Plan in order to prepare for the growing population and town. The needs can dramatically change with Indiana weather. This cannot be better illustrated than severe pothole issues after the harsh winters.
The Town of Plainfield values our partnerships with the County and State in order to protect our residents and visitors.