Diesel spill may require pavement replacement

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Sunday’s diesel spill in a road reconstruction project area on Seymour’s east side may present some additional challenges for motorists in the coming days or weeks.

City Engineer Bernie Hauersperger delivered that message to the board of public works and safety during a meeting Thursday at the Seymour Police Department.

He said the issue surfaced during a meeting he had with officials with Milestone Contractors of Columbus and the Indiana Department of Transportation earlier in the day.

“They are thinking they are going to have to mill some of the pavement and take the new pavement out and then resurface it and put new pavement back in to try to get the diesel (fuel) out,” Hauersperger said.

He said if the issues created for motorists by the ongoing project aren’t bad enough, traffic could be down to one lane in each direction while repairs to the damaged area at Tipton Street and Steven’s Way are made.

“I just want the public to be aware of it,” he said.

Cassy Bajek, a spokeswoman with INDOT’s northwest district, said Friday afternoon that the impacts of the spill are still being analyzed.

“So we do not know for sure how much will need to replaced,” she said.

Bajek also said the state has not put together a plan for what that would look like in terms of potential lane closures.

About 200 gallons of diesel fuel were spilled when the fuel tank on a semitractor-trailer being pulled by a tow truck hit a construction barrier and ruptured Sunday evening. Tipton Street and Steven’s Way were closed about three and a half hours because of the spill.

Seymour firefighters and a crew from 31 Wrecker Service in Seymour cleaned the road by sweeping absorbent into the spill.

Milestone is the general contractor for the $15 million construction project on east U.S. 50 (Tipton Street) in Seymour. The work, which includes a 1.25-mile pavement reconstruction project, started in April 2020. The bulk of the work is expected to be completed in October with some continuing into June 2022.

The project is designed to improve traffic flow and make it safer for vehicles and pedestrians traveling through the busy corridor.