Future road projects seen as opportunities

Friday, October 20, 2017

The ink is barely dry on the City of Greencastle’s half-million-dollar Community Crossings check for funding Indianapolis Road and Franklin Street construction and repair projects, yet already it’s time for city officials to start dreaming about another round of potential road projects.

In fact, the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) is taking applications on federal aid project ideas through Nov. 22, Greencastle Mayor Bill Dory told the Board of Works at its October monthly meeting.

Dory has created a list of 10 suggested federal aid projects after talking to city staff with no particular priority in mind at present.

“There’s no right answer,” he said, “just opportunities to think about.”

Construction on the federal aid projects, however, would likely not occur until 2023 or 2024. Details will be announced later this fall by INDOT.

Federal aid projects typically require the local community to purchase all right of way, cover engineering costs and pay inspection fees while providing a 20 percent match for construction.

Local match can be provided by Motor Vehicle Highway funds, EDIT money, RDC/TIF funds or other partner entities, depending on the project, Dory said.

Some of the city ideas would require a partnership with the county, the mayor said, “because, quite frankly, they involve a lot of city traffic circulating on county roads.”

One of those projects would be Round Barn Road/Indianapolis Road to Albin Pond Road for reconstruction of the road and drainage improvements.

The project could widen Round Barn Road to address safety issues that exist, while sidewalks and/or pathways might be incorporated into the project.

Not only would a partnership with the county be needed, but right of way acquisition would also be necessary.

Likewise, a suggested South Street/Zinc Mill Road to Warren Drive project would require a partnership with the county, Mayor Dory said.

It would fill in missing segments between the two intersections and the new bridge, but the city does not own any right of way.

The Zinc Mill Road/South Street to U.S. 231 is another similar suggested project that might require county assistance. The city would need to annex two properties, otherwise the project would be outside city limits.

The extension of Zinc Mill would open up land for residential development, Dory suggested. However, the city presently does not own any right of way along it.

One major project up for consideration is the reconstruction of Albin Pond Road from Arlington Street to the city limits or to Round Barn Road.

Right of way would need to be purchased to address side slope issues, while the project would widen the roadway to address safety concerns.

The project would also allow the city to address sanitary sewer issues along the road, Dory noted.

Another major project suggested for INDOT federal aid consideration is a Fawnview Lane or Judson Drive connection to Albin Pond Road, providing another much-needed north-south connector road.

Completion would help with overall traffic management on the east side with the project having the potential to open up some additional housing sites.

However, the city does not own any right of way through the area involved.

Meanwhile, two other suggested projects -- Locust Street and Spring Street -- were originally part of the city’s Stellar Grant application but did not make the final cut.

Spring Street improvements and Locust Street improvements -- from Franklin to Seminary -- would include a storm sewer trunk line.

In both cases survey work has been completed and most work could be done within the right of way.

INDOT is actually starting work on some improvements to U.S. 231, Dory said, that could coordinate with this project.

Other suggested future federal aid projects include:

-- Connecting Calbert Way to County Road 50 South: Completion is seen as taking some pressure off the Fillmore Road/State Road 240 intersection. The city owns most of the right of way except for a small portion owned by Ascena. The project could provide a parallel People Pathways segment.

-- West Walnut Street, Jackson Street to CSX tracks: Road reconstruction to provide a storm sewer trunk line to help with downtown drainage.

-- Hanna Street, extending Hanna to the DePauw Nature Park: DePauw would be asked to provide the matching potion of funding with little or no contribution by the city. DePauw already owns most of the right of way. The project is perhaps a longer-term option once DePauw creates a development plan for the Nature Park.

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