Local highway projects announced for summer improvements

Thursday, April 27, 2006

The return of warmer weather to Putnam County can mean only one thing -- road construction.

Local road crews are gearing up for summer projects with some already under way and others about to begin.

The Indiana Dept. of Transportation at Cloverdale has planned two major resurfacing projects for northern parts of the county this spring.

The first one covers U.S. 231 from the intersection of U.S. 36, northward to the Putnam-Montgomery county line.

Cloverdale INDOT Superintendent Fred West said work on that project has already begun and could last throughout the summer. The road should remain open to traffic during the project as road crews will work on one lane at a time.

A second, equally as significant resurfacing, project on U.S. 36 is also scheduled for sometime this summer, West said. Crews will repave the highway from the intersection of U.S. 231, all the way east to State Road 75 in Hendricks County.

West said the U.S. 36 project may have to wait until the U.S. 231 project is completed, however, he said it is possible that the two jobs may be done at the same time.

A third project INDOT has scheduled for this summer is a bridge replacement on U.S. 231, about a half mile south of the intersection of State Road 236. West said the road will probably remain open throughout the project and the highway department will replace one side of the bridge at a time, much like they did north of Brick Chapel earlier this year.

On the city level, Greencastle has approved $221,976 worth of resurfacing for several streets beginning next month.

The list of streets scheduled for resurfacing include: West Liberty Street, Indiana Street (at the courthouse), Franklin Street (at the courthouse), Indiana Street, Greenwood Avenue, South Jackson Street, Vine Street parking lot and the city lot next to the BannerGraphic office.

City officials are in negotiations to possibly pave an additional undetermined road segment after the other segments are completed, depending on available funding.

The Greencastle Board of Work voted in March to approve Wabash Valley Asphalt of Terre Haute to do the work.

On a county level, the Putnam County High Department is gearing up for several potential bridge and road projects this summer as well.

Superintendent Dave Sutherlin said he has identified at least three projects that he would like to see completed by summer's end, provided the necessary funding is available.

The first is bridge No. 152, known by Marion Township residents as the Devil's Backbone bridge. Sutherlin said crews will replace the bridge and that the road will remain closed, as it is now, throughout most of the summer.

Secondly, a bridge installation is planned for State Police Post Road north of U.S. 40 in Warren Township. Sutherlin said crews will replace three underground pipes with a regular box and beam bridge, provided funding is available.

If the project is undertaken, sometime this summer, the road would be closed throughout that time period, Sutherlin said.

Finally, the county highway department hopes to repave the road connecting Bainbridge and Roachdale, past North Putnam High School.

Sutherlin said he hopes the work will get under way this summer, however, the road will remain open throughout the project.

"Those are the main three," he said, adding that the department will also be doing some chip and seal of some roads throughout the county. This too depends on available funding, he said.

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