Deteriorating street to get quick attention

Emergency repairs to West Second Street in Seymour are not something city officials want to pay for right now.

But with the road literally crumbling away, there’s no way to avoid it, Mayor Craig Luedeman said.

Repaving just to get the street through the winter will cost $40,000, according to an estimate from Dave O’Mara Contractor Inc. of North Vernon.

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At $65 per ton for asphalt, it will cost $19,500 to mill and repave one inch of the road’s surface from Vehslage Road to Springhill Road and $20,800 from Vehslage to Lasher Drive.

O’Mara was awarded the city’s paving and milling contract this month, but the West Second Street project was not part of the agreement. That’s because the stretch of road from Lasher Drive near Central Christian Church to Vehslage is scheduled to be ripped up and rebuilt as part of a major $3 million construction project to begin in the spring.

Luedeman said he has no qualms with paying about $20,000 to repave the Vehslage to Springhill stretch because it won’t be rebuilt for another two years. But he thinks the scope of work to repave from Lasher to Vehslage can be pared down so only those areas in the worst condition get fixed at this time.

“It’s more than what we need to get us through the winter,” he said of the bid. “It just doesn’t make sense to pay to repave the entire road and then come back in a few months and rip it all up.”

The worst spots are in the area from Deer Park Court to just past Manor Heights, he added.

Luedeman said he will meet with city engineer Nathan Frey soon to discuss what options are available to get the cost down.

The repaving should start after Oktoberfest on the first weekend of October and be finished by the end the month, he added.

It will be paid for through sewer bond money the city has left from another project.

“We will be transferring money around to cover it,” Luedeman said. “But we should have enough.”

Shawn Rockey, who lives in the 200 block of Springhill Road, said he appreciates the city’s efforts to try to address the problems to make the road safer. He said he recently witnessed traffic, including an Indiana State Police car, dodge holes and drive into oncoming traffic to get around them.

“With more and more kids traveling that major artery to get to the high school via bus or car, it’s beginning to become a more noticeable situation where cars have to divert around those particular sections of road,” Rockey said.

Although he is aware of the cost and the fact other streets in the city need attention too, Rockey said he thought he needed to voice his concerns.

“I felt it was my civic duty to bring this to everyone’s attention and to ask for help if it’s available,” he said. “I think during winter time we are going to struggle with that road. It’s coming apart, and I know there are plans to fix it, but I hope there are more cost-effective solutions we can entertain to at least make the road passable for now to ensure a robust transportation path to and from that main artery.”

Rockey said that, even though he appreciates workers trying to patch holes with cold mix, he doesn’t want to see that be the permanent solution.

“I’m afraid of just throwing cold mix at it, and I think repaving would go a long way,” he said. “No one wants to waste money, and it wasn’t my intention to push for something unrealistic. If you do due diligence to make an honest attempt to repair it, that’s all anyone can ask.”