Contractor open to working with those along closed street
By ERIC BERNSEE
Like virtually any improvement project, updating and upgrading infrastructure generally comes with a few headaches and its share of inconveniences for those in and around the affected area.
South Indiana Street in Greencastle likely will be no different, although the project manager for the construction company tackling the streetscape project has vowed to keep such issues to a minimum and finish the work by its prescribed Aug. 6 completion date -- if not sooner.
Addressing a public discussion session on the project -- which involves Indiana Street being closed to traffic from Washington Street to just south of Seminary for much of the next three months -- Rieth-Riley Construction Co. Project Manager Scott Weishaar said Monday he wants to see the $884,383 project finished "just as soon as possible."
He urged all business owners along the route to "please, please, please" inform their recurring customers that "Indiana Street is off limits" to traffic.
"I want this done as soon as possible for you guys," Weishaar told business owners and neighbors in attendance Monday at City Hall. "As soon as possible for my sake and as soon as possible so that people can start saying, 'Wow, that's a nice-looking road.'"
Although sidewalks along Indiana Street were closed Monday because the concrete was being sawed in preparation for reconstruction work, Weishaar said plastic orange snow fencing eventually will be put up to separate sidewalk construction areas from usable walking space.
"Once the snow fence is up," Weishaar said, "I'll do my best to keep a walking access available to your facilities."
There will always be sidewalk access, Weishaar said, "until we need to put in the new sidewalk. That's part of the project, it needs to be replaced."
Indiana Street business owners, however, were concerned that signs declaring "sidewalk closed" like those in place on Monday might confuse their customers.
The contractor said "sidewalk closed" signs might have to remain in place to fulfill ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) requirements.
The first step in the reconstruction effort will be removing the current asphalt and curbing. Milling of Indiana Street is expected to begin this Thursday.
After taking off at noon on Good Friday and not working this Easter weekend, the Rieth-Riley construction crew will work 10-hour days and six-day weeks with an eye on that Aug. 6 finish line, as stipulated in the INDOT contract.
Along the way, Weishaar said he would work with businesses like Moore's Bar on its delivery needs as well as urging Starbucks to revise its delivery procedure and utilize Washington Street during the ongoing Indiana Street project.
He also vowed to provide business owners essential access to their trash dumpsters, possibly placing them in a common area to facilitate pick-up.
"I hope to minimize your walk," he told business owners, "and maximize your use of it (their dumpster)."
After milling and subgrade work is done on Indiana Street, the start of concrete work is expected June 12 with curbs, approaches and ADA ramps addressed.
That work will take until approximately July 7, the project manager said. After that the addition of a trench drain will require five days and installation of the accent pavers will run until mid-July, he said.
Asphalt work will follow as "one uniform operation in three layers," Weishaar said, estimating July 21 for the asphalt surfacing work.
He plans to start at the south end (Seminary and Indiana) and work north.
Electrical work to accommodate the new streetlights and the addition of tree grates will come next with striping of the street expected July 22-23.
"The work itself has to be done Aug. 6," the contractor said of the INDOT deadline.
Contractors will be working with both the police and fire departments to assure they always have access to either Walnut or Poplar streets during the construction work, Weishaar said.
Also addressing the group Monday evening and offering her assistance to residents and business owners was Leah Cosgrove, the construction engineer working for the city on the project.