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Highway FAQ

Welcome to the County Highway Department Questions and Answers Page.  Please send us any questions that you don't find answers for at

What is Centralized Agencies Permitting System? 

There are size and weight limits to vehicles and equipment that use the highway system. Oversize and overweight vehicles and equipment are required to obtain a permit to operate on our highways.  Such restrictions are intended to protect the taxpayers investment in the highway system. Winnebago County is the only County in the State of Illinois that has a unified oversized/overweight permitting system.  In other counties motorists and businesses are required to contact each of the governing agencies having jurisdiction over their desired routes of travel to obtain their permit to avoid the severe monetary penalties.  In fact, this innovative program recently won Winnebago County the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Public Innovator Award.

Oversized/Overweight permits for any of the roads in Winnebago County (excluding the Villages of Durand and any State Highways) can be obtained by calling our CAPS line at 815-319-4002.

Why are weight limits imposed on our highway system during the spring? 

Roads are posted (which limits the weight of vehicles and equipment) to prevent damage to roads throughout the late winter/spring thawing season (usually from February - April).  When a road base thaws, it softens and cannot carry the heavier loads allowed throughout the remainder of the year.  While the roads are posted, the Sheriff's Department patrols the highways, checking for violators.  As soon as the road base firms up, the danger of road damage has passed, and the road postings (weight restrictions) are removed.

Who is responsible for my road? 

Road jurisdiction is a confusing issue.  Road jurisdiction (ownership) can be overseen by various municipalities or townships, the County, the State the Illinois, the State Toll Highway Authority, or perhaps the Forest Preserve District or a park district.  In addition, jurisdiction does not necessarily mean maintenance.  There are many State highways maintained by municipalities.  Lastly, jurisdiction can change between agencies. To assist you in determining road ownership, click here

Who maintains road signs? 

Road signs are a significant safety feature of our highway system.  Signs are maintained by the entity having jurisdiction over the highway.  Please immediately report damaged or missing road signs to the proper entity.  To do so, please call one of the following phone numbers or contact us at the Winnebago County Highway Department.

If it is after hours, please call the Winnebago County Sheriff's Department or dial 911.  Missing stop signs or malfunctioning traffic signals are considered a public safety issue.  Please immediately contact the Winnebago County Highway Department at 319-4000.  

Why do we chip seal or seal coat roads?

Winnebago County chip seals some roads on a five year rotation to extend pavement life and prevent deterioration of the road surface. It is a cost effective way to extend the life of the road. 

The process is similar to sealing a driveway but we add small aggregate (chips). The procedure consists of spraying a fine layer of hot oil on the existing road surface followed by small aggregates. The next step consist of compacting the chips into the hot oil with rubber tired rollers to get the chips to adhere to the oil and existing roadway. After settling for a couple weeks, we sweep any excess loose chips off the roadway.

I have road paint on my vehicle, now what?

Paint used on our highway system is a water based product that dries quickly and can be easily removed if given attention as quickly after contact as possible.  Drivers can avoid contact with paint by being patient, not driving too close to the painting operation and by not driving through freshly painted striping.  The Winnebago County Highway Department is willing to answer any questions you may have regarding this issue.

What if my mailbox has been damaged by a snow plow?

Unfortunately, plowing snow can take place at any time of the day or night.  While visibility is better during daylight hours, it is still very difficult during a snow storm and particularly more difficult when snow is being plowed.  In addition our drivers are very busy operating the snow plow while watching for highway obstacles.  Occasionally, because of poor visibility we damage a mail box.  If this unfortunate situation occurs, let us know.  We will replace your mail box with a temporary box until a permanent box can be installed the following spring.  It must be noted that we will only replace / repair the mailbox if it was knocked down directly by one of our plows.  The county will not be responsible for damages caused by heavy snow or slush - most mailboxes with stand heavy snow and slush if properly installed.  As always, for the safety of all, we ask you to be patient when approaching, following, or passing a snow plow as our drivers are very busy. 

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