Construction to rebuild and widen West Second Street in Seymour has been delayed until spring.
City officials had said they hoped to see work on the $3.05 million project begin later this month or in early August.
Because of the delay, Mayor Craig Luedeman said the city likely will have to spend additional funds this year to fill in potholes and patch the road to keep it drivable.
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He wasn’t sure how much that would cost yet.
“I have our city engineer looking into it and plan to discuss it with the council on Monday,” he said.
Some council members have already voiced their concerns with the project not getting started sooner.
Council member John Reinhart said he’s worried the road won’t last.
“I don’t know if Second Street can take another bad winter,” he said at a recent council meeting.
The stretch of road being rebuilt runs from Lasher Drive near Central Christian Church west to Vehslage Road. It’s the first phase of a two-phase project to reconstruct and widen the entire road from Lasher Drive to Springhill Road. Both phases together are estimated to cost around $4.5 million.
The project is being funded by federal highway transportation grants awarded to the city by INDOT with a 20 percent match from the city.
City officials are blaming the delay in work on a change in contractors for the project.
Originally, the state contract was awarded to King’s Excavating of Seymour. But due to an error in paperwork submitted by King’s, the state went with the second-lowest and available bidder — Milestone Inc. of Columbus.
Even with construction beginning in April 2016, it should be wrapped up by September 2016, he added.
“They have 18 months to complete the job whether they start now or later, according to the contract,” Luedeman said. “Milestone has opted to wait and start in the spring.”
But Luedeman said he is worried Indiana’s unpredictable weather will cause problems with that schedule.
The good news is that all utilities will be moved and site work completed before construction begins, he added.
When finished, the newly rebuilt road will be about 4 feet wider than it is now, and will have added features including a new storm sewer, curbing, gutters and a sidewalk on the north side of the road, said city engineer Nathan Frey.
With heavy rains, the road floods so bad that it often becomes impassable, Luedeman said.
This should help mitigate any flooding issues that currently exist, Frey added.
Although the road will be closed in sections throughout the project, he said residents will have access to get to and from their homes.