Posted Online: Nov. 16, 2012, 8:24 pm

Henry County highway department celebrates 100 years

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By Lisa Hammer correspondent@qconline.com

The Illinois county highway department system was formed in 1913, and the Henry County Highway Department is considering ways to mark the 100th anniversary.

Henry County highway superintendent Steve Brandau said his department might take a picture of highway department staff with the county transportation committee, find pictures of old equipment or he might personally buy t-shirts with a logo that says "100 years of highway excellence."

"We're actually just getting started," he said. "If anyone has any pictures or articles, that would be great. We'd love to have old pictures if somebody has some."

He said he has a copy of the Henry County historical book "Corn, Commerce and Country Living" which has references to early conditions. He said most of today's county roads may have been township roads before 1913, but some state roads were converted to township roads.

Although it's been 100 years, Henry County is only on its fifth highway superintendent. Mr. Brandau has had the job for 25 years.

Henry County Transportation Committee chairman Rick Livesay and his committee said earlier this month they liked the tentative plans for an observation of the centennial.

Rock Island and Mercer counties don't yet have plans to mark the occasion, but Rock Island County engineer John Massa said he probably will talk to other highway departments to see what they were doing.

The Henry County Highway Department also is celebrating that department revenues for the year were $300,000 higher than expected, while expenses to date are $300,000 less than budgeted, with only another $160,000 in expenses expected before the fiscal year ends Nov. 30.