About Public Works

Public Works Director: Josh Metcalf

County Engineer: Geoff Soderquist

Lewis County Public Works' primary responsibilities are the maintenance and construction of the county road network and the operation of the solid waste utility. The department has seven main divisions: Administration, Engineering Services, Traffic, Maintenance & Operations, Real Estate Services, Utilities, and Solid Waste.

It is the intent of the Department to enhance service by increasing our communication with the public, by developing an organizational culture that both encourages individual responsibility and fosters teamwork/cooperation, and by implementing project management techniques to help achieve our goals. The duties and responsibilities of the Public Works Department are not taken lightly. The roads are safer to travel and the environment is cleaner in Lewis County because of the hard work, dedication and great pride displayed by each employee.

The Solid Waste Division processes over 70,000 tons of refuse per year through two transfer stations and it coordinates recycling and hazardous waste programs throughout the county.

Our Utility Division, newly formed in 2010, manages and operates the Vader community water system for approximately 350 connections and is evaluating the system for improvements.

The County has 1,053 miles of roads and 197 bridges. It is a continuous process to maintain, improve, and reconstruct the existing transportation system:

Every year Public Works submits a Six Year Transportation Improvement Program to the Lewis County Board of Commissioners. Once approved, roads and bridges targeted for improvement may require new vertical and horizontal alignment, resurfacing, additional right of way, or replacement of structures. The degree of repair needed is determined by field evaluations.

Field crews gather preliminary survey information used for all designs. Once the scope of work is determined, roadway designs are created using local and state guidelines required for traffic volume, terrain, design speed, safety features, stormwater runoff, environmental concerns and many other details associated with a roadway project. Designs for new bridges are contracted to a structural engineer.

Once the designs are complete, Lewis County engineering staff members prepare contract specifications for open and competitive bidding by road and bridge construction companies. Surveying and inspections of a contractor's construction operation are also handled by the engineering staff.

Road and bridge features are continuously updated using the Mobility road inventory application. Each roadlog entry contains the width, condition of pavement, length, accident history and average daily traffic counts along with sign, culvert, bridge and roadside hazard locations.

The Public Works Department also reviews and inspects subdivisions and utilities. Staff engineers analyze flooding issues, design culverts and conduct traffic investigations.

The Public Works Department Mission Statement:

"Public Works will build and maintain a safe county road and bridge system that promotes economic vitality while protecting and preserving the County's infrastructure assets and natural resources for those who live in and visit Lewis County."