Road project to include sidewalk, new lighting


A stretch of U.S. 50 on Seymour’s east side is about to get lit.

As part of a 2020 project to reconstruct 1.7 miles of the busy highway, also known as Tipton Street, from Agrico Lane to U.S. 31, Duke Energy is planning to update the existing streetlights to LED lighting.

The addition of a 1-mile sidewalk and new decorative lighting will make it safer for pedestrians and those riding bicycles, Mayor Craig Luedeman said.

The sidewalk will allow people to get to restaurants, hotels and shopping from the east side of the city, he added.

“So many people are walking on that side of town, and there’s no sidewalk for them,” he said.

The city is footing the bill for the sidewalk, which will end at Sandy Creek Drive. Luedeman said the sidewalk will cost the city less than $1 million, but it’s an important step in making the city more accessible.

Originally, the sidewalk was supposed to go all the way to U.S. 31, but Luedeman said that idea was nixed because the state did not want to put sidewalks across the exit and entrance ramps to Interstate 65.

“I’m actually glad that got shot down,” he said.

Construction is expected to begin in the spring or summer of 2020. Next year will be a major year of road construction for Seymour, as the first phase of the Burkart Boulevard south bypass project also is set to begin.

“Between Burkart and U.S. 50, we’re going to be seeing about $50 million worth of road work,” Luedeman said.

The Seymour Board of Public Works and Safety entered into an agreement with Duke Energy last week to install the decorative lighting along the new sidewalk.

The city will own the electric poles but will rent the lights from Duke.

Luedeman estimated the cost of the lighting to be $355,000, but the annual electric bill for the lights will decrease, saving the city money in the long run.

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