Officials seeking quick fix for road

Residents who live along a stretch of West Second Street or drive it frequently say the road is in such bad shape it isn’t going to last until spring.

That’s when construction on a major $3 million project to rebuild, widen and improve the road is scheduled to begin.

But city officials plan to take emergency measures in the next few weeks to make the area safer and stabilize the crumbling street enough to get it through the winter.

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Seymour City Council President Jim Rebber brought up the issue at the end of a brief meeting Monday night and asked Mayor Craig Luedeman to come up with a plan to get some repair work done now.

He said he wants to see more significant repairs than just filling potholes and crack sealing.

Rebber and other council members have received complaints from residents in the West Second Street area, and he doesn’t feel like the city can hold off any longer.

Taryn Rockey lives on Springhill Road and attended Monday’s meeting to find out more about the city’s plans.

“From Vehslage Road to Springhill, there are several spots that are so bad we can’t even ride our bicycles on them anymore because it’s unsafe,” she said.

Luedeman said he would have a detailed solution later this week, including how much money it will cost, where that money will come from and a schedule of when repairs will be made.

The stretch of road from Lasher Drive near Central Christian Church west to Vehslage Road will be rebuilt in the spring. It’s the first part of a two-phase project to reconstruct and widen the entire road from Lasher Drive to Springhill Road. Both phases have an estimated price tag of $4.5 million.

The project is being funded by federal highway transportation grants awarded to the city by the Indiana Department of Transportation with a 20 percent match from the city.

City officials had hoped the project would get underway this summer, but the start of construction was pushed back after a new contractor was hired for the job.

Originally, the state contract was awarded to King’s Trucking and Excavation of Seymour. But due to an error in paperwork submitted by King’s, the state went with Milestone Inc. of Columbus instead. Milestone opted to wait until next April to begin the job.

When finished, the newly rebuilt road will be about 4 feet wider and will have added features, including a new storm sewer, curbs, gutters and a sidewalk on the north side of the road. It’s a project that has been needed for at least 20 years, Luedeman said.

He expects the board of works to approve a road maintenance and improvement plan Thursday for the city, which includes a paving schedule.

“My intent is to mark the road (West Second Street) and have the contractors who are doing the repaving work in other areas come through, mill out the really bad areas and put on a new surface,” he said.

The temporary fix will consist of heavy patching and repairs with hot mix and a paver, he added.

“It won’t be a totally new road surface,” he said. “But it should help.”

That work has to be done by the first of October, he said, because that’s when the city’s paving contract ends.

Luedeman said another area of West Second Street, near Manor Heights Drive, is really bad.

“That’s one of the key areas we are going to tag,” he said. “The city engineer is looking at those areas.”

Construction on the second phase of the West Second Street project, which will rebuild the section from Vehslage Road to Springhill Road, won’t begin until 2017 at the earliest, Luedeman said.

“The state’s looking to push that back even further to 2018 now,” he said.