Washington Township Road District
Highway Commissioner Mike Smith
Washington Township Highway Commissioner Mike Smith and his crew maintains the right of way to over 70 miles of roads in Washington Township (unincorporated Beecher).
The “right of way” of a township road is defined as 66 feet from fence line to fence line or 33 feet from the center of the road. Of the 70 miles of roads maintained by the Washington Township Highway Department, 63 miles are “hard top” roads and the remaining roads are gravel (7-miles) or dirt (less than one-mile). Hard top roads are defined as a tar and chip or a blacktop road.
The ongoing goal of the Highway Department is to upgrade all gravel roads to hard top roads as funds become available. The Washington Township Highway Department assumes many responsibilities in the right- of-way.
Road District Responsibilities Include:
- Road Repairs / Patching
- Road Resurfacing
- Maintain ditches & Right-of-ways
- Gravel Shouldering
- Litter Pick-up
- Roadside Mowing
- Traffic Control Signage
- Tree Removal
- Winter Snow and Ice Control
See below for Culvert Permits & General Building Information
Your Highway department is equipped to handle most of the above duties, however, certain services require the need to outsource to private contractors. The highway department has excellent relationships with many other local villages and townships and has combined resources (manpower and equipment) with these other entities to get the most out of your tax dollars.
The Washington Township Highway Department is working for YOU!
Township Government in Illinois maintains over 71,000 miles of roads throughout the state!
Washington Township requires a permit for entrances off the public roadway. The cost of a permit is $50.00, which covers an inspection fee.
An additional $500.00 cash bond is required for the Culvert Permit. The $500.00 cash bond is returned to the homeowners after they receive an occupancy permit to their new residence (a copy of the occupancy permit from Will County is required) and the culvert has passed a final inspection from the Road District. The homeowner is responsible for the cost of the culvert and proper installation.
The process of obtaining a culvert permit is as follows:
Mark the location of the culvert with stakes. Most driveway culverts are a minimum of 30 foot wide with a driveway stone base of 12 to 16 foot wide.
Contact the Washington Township Highway Department at (708) 946-6459 and inform them with the location of the property and requested culvert site. Within three days, the Highway Department will survey the location of the culvert and will properly size the culvert to handle drainage in the ditch and if necessary, neighboring property.
After 3 days, contact the Washington Township Highway Department to set up an appointment with the Commissioner to finish the permit process.
Once approved, payments for the culvert permit ($50.00) and bond ($500) is required. All checks are to be made out to the Washington Township Road District. The cash bond will be placed into a special culvert bond account and remain there until you receive occupancy. You must provide the district with the name of your General Contractor and a phone number of a contact person. At that time you will receive the permit to take to Will County to process your building permit.
To receive your $500.00 culvert bond:
Mail or Fax a copy of your Will County occupancy permit to the Highway Department.
Washington Township Highway Department
30200 Town Center Road
P.O. Box 578
Beecher, Illinois 60401
Fax: (708) 946-2116
The Highway Department will inspect the culvert and ditch line to ensure the culvert was put in at the proper grade and there was no damage to the culvert during construction. Once the culvert installation passes inspection, a $500 check from the Culvert Fund will be issued to the homeowner. Payments will be mailed within 2 to 3 weeks from the date of final inspection. If the culvert does not pass inspection, the homeowner will be notified to correct the problem. If the problem was not corrected in a reasonable time frame (60 days) the Township Highway Department will cash the bond and correct the problem. If the repairs are less than $500, the homeowner will receive the remaining balance of the cash bond.
GENERAL GUIDELINES ABOUT BUILDING IN WASHINGTON TOWNSHIP
- The Applicant represents all parties in interest and shall furnish material, do all work, pay all costs, and shal1 in a reasonable length of time restore the damaged portions of the highway to a condition similar or equal to that existing before the commencement of the described work, including any seeding or sodding necessary.
- The proposed work shall be located and constructed to the satisfaction of the Highway Commissioner or his duly authorized representative. No revisions or additions shall be made to the proposed work on the right-of-way without the written permission of the Highway Commissioner.
- The Applicant, his successors or assigns, agrees to hold harmless the Township and its duly appointed agents and employees against any action for personal injury or property damage sustained by reason of the exercise of this permit.
- The Applicant shall not trim, cut, or in any way disturb any trees or shrubbery along the highway without the approval of the Highway Commissioner or his duly authorized representative.
- This permit is effective only insofar as the Road District has jurisdiction and does not presume to release the Applicant from compliance with the provisions of any existing statutes or local regulations relating to the construction of such work.
- The Applicant affirms that the property lines shown on the application are true and correct and binds and obligates the applicant to perform the operation in accordance with the description and attached sketch and to abide by the policy regulations.
- All construction to be done according to State of Illinois standard specifications for road and bridge construction.
- A proper construction entrance shall be completed before any excavating or construction begins.
- Please give 72 hours notice for inspection.
- Top of culvert pipe shall be a minimum of 10” lower than the center of the road with a minimum of 8” of cover on the top of pipe.
- Storm water flow line shall be maintained at all times during construction and installation of entrance so as to not interfere with adjacent property owners
HOMEOWNERS RESPONSIBILITIES DURING CONSTRUCTION
Any damage to the roadway while building a house is the responsibility of the owner to correct the problem.
Culverts shall be straight and if bands are used they shall be manufactured by a culvert company.
Once the driveway is dug out it must be filled with stone within eight (8) hours.
No culvert embankments of any kind may be higher than the driveway surface.
Any damage to the culvert during construction, such as flattened ends or kinks in the culvert may require that a new culvert be installed.
Any debris left on the roadway property is the responsibility of the owner to clean up.
When frost laws are in effect (February 1 through March 31) the owner of the property or the builder must get written permission from the Highway Commissioner to allow overweight trucks on any township road.
No concrete shall be dumped on roadway property.
No trees shall be planted closer than ten (10) feet from right-of-way property line.
Mail boxes put along the roadway shall conform to the U.S. Postal Service and be as far off the road as possible to help with snow removal.
No boulders, railroad ties, etc. shall be put on roadway property
Fences put up in the Township shall be put inside the property line and off of the right-of way.
NOTICE TO ALL WASHINGTON TOWNSHIP RESIDENTS AND BUILDERS
Please be advised that the township has a 66’ right-of-way along any township road that runs adjacent to your property. Therefore the property between the roadway and your property line is under the jurisdiction of the Washington Township Highway Department. In this right-of-way, there MAY be ditches to insure for proper drainage of the surface water from the highway and adjacent property. It is a violation of Illinois State Statutes to plow in or across the slopes of the ditches, alter the flow of the water, or place any material in the ditches to obstruct the flow of water. This violation carries a fine of up to $250.00. If there is any such violation, the Highway Commissioner has the authority to correct the obstruction and recover any such cost from the owner of the property or other persons obstructing or damaging the ditch.
Any violation of the aforementioned could result in losing all or part of or your culvert bond.
WINTER SNOW AND ICE CONTROL
Washington Township begins plowing and salting the roadways after one or more inches of snow has fallen. Township trucks will plow continuously unless the driver’s visibility is hampered by white out conditions and / or blowing snow. Trucks will not be dispatched if the safety of the driver is at risk; in this case, all trucks will be put on stand-by at the Road District garage and will only be dispatched in case of an emergency. The Road District maintains radio access with the Beecher Fire Department and the Beecher School District if called to respond to an emergency.
Ice control will begin once snow or ice begins to freeze on road surfaces. Washington Township does not salt all of the roads in the township, but all major roads (heaviest traveled), intersections and hills will be salted.
The Township does not have a parking ban for snow control. However, we ask for your cooperation with keeping your vehicles off the street until a storm has passed and your road has been plowed and / or widened. Vehicles parked on township roads may be towed or ticketed by the county!
Township snowplows discharge snow to the curbside of the street and inevitably into your driveways. If you can delay cleaning out the end of your driveway until the street is plowed you’ll save yourself several shoveling trips.
It is a violation of Illinois Law to plow, push, blow or in anyway place snow upon a public road, from adjoining property. Please, shovel driveway ends to the sides. If you plow into the roadway, you are liable for all incidents, which may result.
Occasionally snow or heavy slush from a snowplow will knock down a mailbox. Most mailboxes, if they are placed and installed properly, will withstand the force of the snow or slush against them. If a mailbox is damaged, the township will only replace mailboxes with a standard mailbox and a 4x4 wood post. See additional mailbox guidelines for acceptable installation standards.
TRAFFIC CONTROL SIGNAGE
Washington Township has jurisdiction and maintains all roadway signs. The township can only install new signage under the direction and permission of the Will County Engineer. The township is obligated to maintain all signs outside of the village limits.
Frequently Asked Questions About Signs:
How can we get a speed limit sign up on our road?
Call the Road District office at (708) 946-6459 and ask for a speed limit study to be performed on your road. Once a request is received, the Road Commissioner will request a speed limit study from the Will County Engineer. Will County will perform a speed and traffic count on the road (or section of road) and if predetermined criteria are met for reducing speed limits, a letter of recommendation is sent to the township. Please be advised that this process may take several months to complete.
What is the speed limit on my road if there are no speed limit signs?
Speed limits on non-posted roads in Illinois is 55 mph and is set by Illinois State Statutes.
Vehicles are going over the speed limit, what can I do?
Call the Will County Sheriff Department to report your concern and ask them to patrol the road or area in question. Residents may also call the Road District office and we will gladly report your request to the county.
Who has to stop at an intersection with no Stop or Yield signs?
You have to Yield to the right. The person to your right has the right of way.
What do you do if there is a Stop or Yield sign missing?
Call the Road District office at (708) 946-6459 and leave a message, which includes the location and type of sign missing.
Is there a difference between a Stop and Yield Sign?
At a Stop sign you are required to come to a complete stop before continuation through the intersection.
At a Yield sign, you must look if the intersection is clear before continuing though the intersection. The only difference is that you do not have to come to a complete stop before you go.
My street sign is missing from my corner, what should you do?
Call the Road District office at (708) 946-6459 and let us know what sign is missing. Unfortunately, most missing signs are stolen and replacing them can take several weeks if the sign needs to be special ordered. Please report any road sign theft to the Highway Commissioner or Will County police.
Most storm water drainage in the Township is accomplished using open “ditches” which run parallel to the road. In addition to an open ditch, every driveway has a culvert pipe installed beneath it to allow the storm water to flow freely downstream to accommodate drainage.
To make sure that the water flows efficiently, please take a few minutes each spring and fall to check the ditch and culvert near your home for any accumulation of debris (leaves, grass, branches, cans, etc.) which would cause a water backup. Please remove any obstruction found.
Some areas have buried drain lines in addition to open ditches. In these cases, it important to make sure that catch basin openings remain clear and free of all debris. It is a costly procedure to clean buried drain lines and just a few minutes spent cleaning a catch basin may prevent water from backing up. Please remember that all drainage work is performed to benefit you, the property owner. Please help us protect your home from water damage by keeping the drainage ways clear and functional.
Washington Township is responsible for all ditches along the roadsides. If a ditch is not flowing properly, the district will clean them in order to keep the flow of water away from the roadway. Please be advised that standing water in a ditch does not mean that the ditch is not working properly. If the water stands in a ditch for more than 3 or 4 days, there may be a drainage problem. Feel free to report this type of issue to the Road District office.
If you have a question regarding drainage or watershed in Washington Township, please contact Drainage District Chairman Dennis Koehn at (708) 946-6729.
The Washington Township Highway Department mows the roadsides approximately three times a year. Typically, the first two times ditches are mowed the township will mow all corners of intersections and about 10 feet along both sides of the road. This allows some longer grass for the wildlife of the township to nest in while also lowering overall mowing costs to the township. In the fall of the year, ditches are mowed from right-of-way to right-of-way on all township roads. The final mowing is necessary to prevent snow from drifting on roads and to keep small trees in check. The fall mowing can take up to 4 weeks to complete.
MAILBOX INSTALLATION GUIDELINES
The following Postal Service guidelines apply to the installation of a rural style mailbox on a post in front of your home.
The bottom to the mailbox should be forty-two (42) inches above the ground. The front of the mailbox should be twelve (12) inches in from the back of the curb, or edge of the road or shoulder.
Posts should be 4x4 inch wood posts or a two- (2) inch, thin wall, steel pipe.
Mailboxes closer than eight (8) inches or protruding into the street are not acceptable. Posts larger than 4x4, such as railroad ties or mailboxes in brick piers are not acceptable.
If a properly installed mailbox is damaged by Township equipment or snow plowing it will be replaced with a “standard” 4x4 wood post and support. If the post is damaged during the winter, it will be repaired temporarily and replaced in the spring or summer. Not all mailbox damage is from the Township equipment. Old rotted or rusted posts or vandalized boxes are not the Township's responsibility. If the mailbox does not conform to the above guidelines, the Township will not be held responsible.
If there are any questions about mailboxes and or mail delivery please contact the Beecher Post Master at (708) 946-2550.