In Merrillville, as part of Women’s History Month, the town is recognizing Tracy Ryan, who was promoted in January of this year to become the Street Department’s first female foreman. In her role, Ryan maintains the daily field operations of the Street Department. She assigns jobs, does follow-up work to ensure projects are being completed, and plans for future projects. “A foreman here in this department is a key component to our operations, and she’s done fantastic,” said Steve King, Merrillville’s Engineering Administrator/Street Department Director.
Ryan said she spends a lot of time on the road when planning upcoming work, especially important right now as the Street Department is gearing up for summer projects, which include paving, crack sealing, and other road repairs. “A lot of planning,” Ryan said. “There’s a ton of roads.”
Another project she’s coordinating is landscaping work around the Street Department building on 73rd Avenue. “I’m a member of the Lake County Master Gardeners Association, so I get to bring out my master gardener work and landscape around here,” Ryan said.
She said the Street Department is also exploring handling the maintenance of Merrillville’s gateway signs. “So, we’ll have those looking great,” Ryan said. Ryan said she started working for Merrillville about six years ago, and her first role was the maintenance director for the Parks Department. She moved over to the Street Department about three years ago.