James A. Wiechart, Mercer County Engineer


Mercer County Engineer

Brad Laffin, Operations Manager
Karen Heinrichs, Administrative Assistant
Dusty Messner, Highway Maintenance Superintendent

  • Long range planning and engineering
  • Roadway design
  • Bridge and culvert design
  • Drainage Design
  • Right-of-way Aquisition
  • Surveying and Engineering for public improvements on both county and township roads
  • Administration of all capital improvement contracts, including bridge and roadway construction and the annual pavement resurfacing program
  • Inspection, measurement, and documentation of all pay items
  • Adherence to Bid specifications and plans
  • Prepares partial and final payments to all contractors
  • Utility Coordination and Relocation — Gas and water lines, telephone and electric conduit, television, cable, and sanitary sewers
  • Reviews and issues utility and driveway permits
  • Annual Bridge Field Inspection and Bi-Annual Culvert Inspection
  • Records – Permanent copies of all road and bridge plans, maps, aerial photos, benchmarks, road records/right of way information, and land records (Public access to these records is always available)
  • Budgets and Payroll – Management of annual budget, including anticipation of fiscal needs and assessment of revenue availability in order to balance spending while developing schedule of infrastructure projects
  • Public Information – Coordination of project and construction information, media relations, and management of this web site. Development of Annual Report and Official Mercer County Transportation Map
  • Engineering review for Mercer County Regional Planning Commission on new subdivision developments
  • Inspects construction of new subdivision streets – Storm sewers, storm water management systems, road and bridge design, soil and erosion control measures, and traffic control
  • Road and Bridge Maintenance – Ditching and drainage, culvert installation, pavement markings, pothole patching, bridge repair, berm work, guardrail repair, mowing, brush and weed control, snow and ice control
  • Emergency Maintenance – Storm damage, downed trees, high water and flooding problems, and debris
  • Traffic Operations – Maintenance of traffic signs and pavement markings, and collection of traffic data throughout the County
  • Fleet Maintenance – Maintenance and upgrade of on- and off-road vehicles and equipment
  • Safety – Training of personnel on safety procedures to ensure compliance with OSHA regulations
  • Railroad crossings
  • Building and grounds upkeep

The Mission of the Mercer County Engineer’s Office

The primary mission of the Mercer County Engineer is to serve the citizens of Mercer County with safe, superior rural local transportation and drainage systems.

The Mercer County Engineer will complete this mission through the building, maintaining and managing of these rural infrastructure assets in an efficient & cost effective manner in coordination with other local, state and federal partners.

Responsibilities of the Mercer County Engineer’s Office

The Mercer County Engineer’s Office is responsible for maintaining and improving the 385 miles of County roadways and the 368 Bridges on the Mercer County local roads. The County Engineer is the Engineer for the Township Trustees in all of the Mercer County Townships and the Engineer works closely with the Townships on Township roadway maintenance and improvement.

We are a multi-faceted engineering agency covering all phases of local road and transportation development. Some of the more significant areas of our efforts consist of Survey and Design, Road Maintenance and Reconstruction, Bridge and Culvert Construction, Drainage Improvements and Snow & Ice Control.

Your County Engineer, James A. Wiechart, and his staff are responsible for the “construction, reconstruction, maintenance, and repair of all bridges and highways within his county that are under the jurisdiction of the board of county commissioners,” according to the Ohio Revised Code (ORC), Section 5543.01. As of January 1, 2024 the county system in Mercer County includes:

  • 385 miles of roads (center-line miles)
  • 368 bridges
  • 644 culverts
  • 113 ditches under maintenance
  • 76 miles tile
  • 111 miles open ditches

The Ohio Revised Code also states that the county engineer’s office is responsible for the “construction, reconstruction, resurfacing, or improvement of roads by boards of township trustees…” What this means is that the Mercer County Engineer serves as the engineer for the townships and their network of roadways as well. For a specific outline of the duties of the county engineer, please read the Duties of the County Engineer on the “About Us” page.