Fourth Street project to improve pedestrian safety

A project to make it easier and safer to walk or ride a bicycle along East Fourth Street in Seymour will get underway later this spring after being delayed for a year.

On Thursday, the Seymour Board of Public Works and Safety gave city engineer Nathan Frey permission to advertise the project in order to receive bids from contractors to complete the work.

The project will include improvements along 3,300 feet of East Fourth Street, including the addition of a sidewalk, handicap-accessible curb ramps and bicycle lanes from O’Brien Street to Burkart Boulevard.

With the expansion of Cummins Seymour Engine Plant and the proximity of Seymour Middle School and residential neighborhoods, the area receives a lot of traffic from motorists and pedestrians, Frey said.

Pedestrian crossings with beacons and push signals at the intersection of Fourth Street and Burkart Boulevard also will be part of the project, Frey said.

All of the design work already has been completed by First Group Engineering Inc. of Indianapolis.

Construction is estimated to cost around $200,000 and should be completed by the end of the summer.

Bike lanes will be added on both sides of the street, and a sidewalk will be built on the north side, extending from Casey’s General Store east along Cummins’ property and then will switch to the south side of the street.

A short stretch of sidewalk already is in place on the north and south sides of the street because it was part of the Cummins expansion project.

Frey said the sidewalk cannot continue along the north side due to conflicts with utilities.

By adding 6-foot painted bicycle lanes on both the north and south sides of the street, the driving lanes will be narrowed to 12 feet. The narrower roads will help slow down traffic, Frey said.

The project is part of Mayor Craig Luedeman’s push and overall plan to add more infrastructure in the city for pedestrian traffic in an effort to encourage more residents to get active and provide people with a safe alternative to travel to work or school.