Officials talk paving, bridge work


City and county officials have reached an agreement to pave a section of a road on the east side of Seymour and repair a bridge.

The Jackson County Commissioners agreed to write a letter to Seymour Mayor Craig Luedeman stating the county would accept the bridge on Thompson Road south of Schleter Road. That acceptance, however, is contingent upon receiving a letter from Luedeman stating the city would pave the road within three years.

Jim Wayman with Wayman & Associates Inc. in Seymour said he has to go through Seymour’s plat committee for primary and secondary approval and receive signatures from the city’s board of public works and safety and Building Commissioner Jeremy Gray. He also has to obtain the owner’s certificate.

City engineer Nathan Frey said he plans to include Thompson Road in the list of streets to be paved on the Community Crossings grant application for 2018, which is due Friday. That matching grant provides funding to Hoosier cities, towns and counties to make improvements to local roads and bridges. It’s a partnership between the Indiana Department of Transportation and urban and rural Indiana communities.

Wayman prepared the plat at the request of Kocolene Development Corp. in Seymour, which owns a building on property just east of Thompson Road. Next door is a building owned by Home Products International.

In 1977, both of the properties were one property, and then it was sold to a leasing company and housed various businesses over the years, Wayman said.

Nearly a dozen years ago, the south property was split off by Albert Skaggs. Kocolene now owns that property.

In the original sale of the property, Wayman said there is a provision in the deed that states on 1.16 acres west of the property, a 60-foot-wide road would be built and dedicated to the county. At that time, it was located just outside city limits. That area has since been annexed into the city.

A bridge with an aluminum plate arch also was put in so the road could cross a creek.

A couple of times over the years, Wayman said it was determined the road never was officially dedicated as a public right of way. That’s what Kocolene is requesting now.

Wayman said he and Jackson County Highway Superintendent Jerry Ault checked out the bridge and were surprised to find it was in good shape underneath.

“There doesn’t appear to be settlement. There doesn’t appear to be any major leakage of water or material underneath it,” Wayman said. “It appears to be in pretty good shape for a structure that’s possibly up to 40 years old.”

Ault said the bridge will need to be wedged and milled to fix a hump in it, and the pavement on the south side is in poor shape.

Thompson Road will be paved from Schleter Road south to where it ends. If the city receives the Community Crossings grant, the road would be paved in 2018. If Seymour doesn’t receive the grant, Frey said the city still would accept the road and pave it as soon as funding becomes available.

Before Thompson Road could be paved with Community Crossings money, Frey said it would have to be added to the city’s road inventory, which he currently is updating.

Also, the plat committee has to accept the road, and an ordinance stating the city has accepted the road has to be created and approved.

The road has been patched a few times in the past.

“Between the county and us, we’ve been kind of Band-Aiding it for the last three or four years now,” Frey said.

“It’s beyond Band-Aids,” commissioners President Matt Reedy said.

“There are some big holes out there,” Frey responded.

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