Cross your fingers. Cross your toes. Heck, cross your eyes.
For Greencastle schools and the City of Greencastle sure can use a little good karma on the summer-long Percy Julian Drive project.
But barring any last-minute snafu, the roadway should finally be open to traffic before and after school beginning Tuesday morning.
That does not mean Frank Feutz Construction will just open up the roadway between Washington Street and Veterans Highway and let 'er rip on Tuesday or anytime soon thereafter. Doesn't mean you can zip up and down the new concrete.
Quite the contrary actually. In all likelihood the street could be closed on and off during the course of the day in order to allow construction crews to safely go about their business without traffic concerns, Mayor Sue Murray explained.
Continued dry weather has helped the contractor play catch-up in recent days after being delayed first by a broken valve, and then by an unexpected hump in a water line unearthed during the project that began the Monday after school ended.
The project neared the finish line at the end of last week with a second section of curbing completed Wednesday, followed by pouring the final driving lanes of concrete Thursday and Friday.
Some finishing work and an effort involving a special additive to be applied to driveway approaches were still on the schedule for Monday, Mayor Murray said.
Meanwhile, a couple of other issues relative to Percy Julian Drive emerged at last week's Redevelopment Commission meeting.
The first involved the temporary entrance to the student parking lot created off Washington Street, west of the stopsign at Percy Julian.
"That turned out to be a nice, unintended good thing that came out of a stressful situation," commission President Erika Gilmore said.
She asked if there are plans to make that a permanent entrance.
Mayor Murray said both school and city officials are evaluating a second GHS lot entrance since it has worked so well. The second entrance eliminated the need for eastbound student cars to progress all the way to Percy Julian, turn right and then turn right again in order to get to the parking lot off the school driveway.
However, Mayor Murray said there are two issues with the placement of the temporary GHS lot entrance. The location does not meet city code nor does it meet the criteria for a collector street (which is what Washington has been designated by the Indiana Department of Transportation).
To qualify as legal without necessity of a variance and/or waiver, the entrance must be 175 feet from any intersection and 100 feet or more from any other entrance.
That would put it on the opposite side of the utility pole to the west and at a more severe slope than the flat spot that has been used temporarily.
Acknowledging how well the new entry worked for the opening days of school, Mayor Murray added, "I don't know why that haven't asked for that in the past?"
Actually, the school has.
About 20 years ago, a similar new entrance was cut onto Washington Street from the student lot but was never finished and was soon restored to its previous condition. People living in the neighborhood at the time expressed concern that car headlights would be shining into their homes at all hours of the night as vehicles came and went from the GHS lot.
In another issue relative to the Percy Julian project, the Redevelopment Commission accepted a low bid of $1,340 from Green Electric Co., Greencastle, to run a new electric service to the parking lot lights at the middle school.
The GMS lot lights had been powered by a connection to other lighting along the Percy Julian side of the McAnally Center lot. However, during the widening of the road, the school corporation decided the lights along the McAnally lot were unnecessary since the Duke Energy poles would be providing sufficient illumination along Percy Julian.
There was initial debate over whether the city or the school corporation should be responsible for running the new electrical service.
On one side, if the city hadn't done the project, there wouldn't have been an issue with the GMS lights. On the other hand, the school corporation asked the city not to have the McAnally lot lights reinstalled.
Dismissing the quandary, Gary Lemon, made the motion for the Redevelopment Commission to fund the new electrical service, adding that he would "rather not see schools paying for lights."
Lemon, Jim Ruark and Drew Brattain cast votes in favor of the Green Electric bid. Commission members Gwen Morris and Erika Gilmore abstained due to their connections with the Greencastle Community School Corporation.
Green submitted the lowest of three bids. Ensor Electric, Greencastle, had a $2,056 proposal, while King Electric asked $3,875 for the work.