Amish Horse Buggies Causing Damage To Indiana Roads

While Indiana cities face major potholes from winter, some counties are facing damage from horses the Amish use on their roads.

Amish may face higher fees to help fix the roads through fees on registering their buggies.

The search for a solution for road damage done by Amish horses is ongoing, but officials feel they may be closer to resolving the issue.

In recent weeks, Daviess County officials have suggested they may limit the amount of paving they do in the future in the eastern part of the county because of the damage horses do to the rural roads.

After some discussion and research, it appears a change to a flatter horse shoe may help alleviate some of the damage to the pavement.

“The safety committee has come up with a less aggressive shoe,” said Daviess County Highway Supervisor Phil Cornelius. “They have more surface contact on the pavement and spread the weight of the horse across the entire shoe. It still has some grip that allows the horse to be safe on the road.”

What has happened in the past is that the caulkins on the horseshoes that give the shoe traction has been more pronounced. With each step taken by the horse, the caulkins would dig into the pavement. Eventually the path where the horses ran would create a rut in the road, commonly called a horse trough. Last fall the county highway department began operating its own blacktop plant. Officials have begun experimenting with different mixes of pavement to make the roads more resistant to horse wear. “That’s what I call playing defense,” said Cornelius. “I think we would prefer to deal with what is causing the damage to begin with.”

Currently the buggy permits run about $60. Some have suggested raising them to $160. County crews say they are working on ways to quantify and identify the horse damage.

Info courtesy Indiana Economic Digest

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