Second Street project addressed during hearing


The project manager for a $10.66 million federally funded project to reconstruct Second Street from Pine Street to Lasher Drive on Seymour’s west side added some new details about it during a recent public hearing.

Plans call for full-depth pavement reconstruction from Lasher Drive east to Pine Street and resurfacing from Pine Street east to Indianapolis Avenue for a total of 1.25 miles. Bids are set to be let in September 2023 with construction scheduled to start in the spring of 2024 and end that fall.

As part of the project, the existing sidewalk on the south side of the street will be widened to 5 feet to comply with Americans with Disabilities Act requirements. The sidewalk along the north side will be removed and replaced with an 8-foot-wide asphalt multi-use path that will be separated from the roadway by a 5-foot-wide grass buffer strip.

During Monday’s hearing at city hall, several people asked project manager Daniel Kurtz with Fishers-based engineering firm RQAW if the multi-use path would be asphalt or concrete.

Kurtz said it’s looking like the path will be concrete at this time.

“There are a couple of environmental groups that have pushed for concrete to help with the aesthetics, the historical look,” he said.

Because the cost of materials is fluctuating at this time, he said he couldn’t, however, guarantee it would be concrete.

Kurtz also fielded a question from one resident in that area about why the two roundabouts had been removed from the project.

“At the meeting back in August when you presented this, I thought that made perfect sense,” Dan Robison said of the proposed roundabouts at Second Street and Community Drive and Second Street and Westgate Road/Airport Road.

Robison said while it wasn’t a popular idea with many during that public hearing, he liked the idea of the roundabouts.

“In my mind, that seemed like a great solution,” he said. “What we are talking about here is something we’re presenting and are going to pay for that’s going to last us 40 years. I just want to make sure we get this right.”

Kurtz said leaving the roundabouts out of the project saves time and money because the one at Second Street and Community Drive would require additional environmental permits.

“There are different environmental categories,” he said. “The smaller footprint reduces the amount of permits required.”

Robison said during the presentation in August, the public was told the roundabouts were safer and would be better for traffic flow through the area.

Kurtz said both the roundabout and the present configuration with traffic lights would work well for that intersection.

City engineer Bernie Hauersperger said the roundabout at Second Street and Community Drive would have cost about a million more dollars to construct.

Priscilla Hardesty, who also lives on Second Street in the project area, said she thought the additional cost of the roundabouts was a waste of money.

“There is no need to spend that much money on a roundabout when you have two times a day when you have a lot of traffic there,” she said.

She asked Kurtz if it would be possible to time the signal at Second Street and Community Drive with the one at Tipton Street and Community Drive to help alleviate traffic backups in those areas in the morning at the start of school and in the afternoon when school lets out.

Kurtz said the signal timings would be a part of the project.

“The signals at 50 (Tipton Street) will be retimed,” he said.

“That should have been done a long time ago,” Hardesty said.

Kurtz also was asked if it would be possible to change the traffic signals at Second Street and Community Drive to flashing lights during the time period there is little traffic.

“That’s something we could possibly work through with INDOT,” Kurtz said.

He said a lot of places do that by having flashing yellow lights for one direction and flashing red for the other when traffic counts are low.

Hauersperger said that would probably not be the best idea at the school since there are a lot of after-school events that bring in people unfamiliar with the area.

“Late in the night, I could see us doing that,” he said. “I don’t know why it is not that way now.”

Construction will be completed in stages, allowing the street to be closed blocks at a time. Access to all properties will be maintained during construction. Those impacted by the project, including Seymour Community School Corp. and emergency services, will be notified of potential road closures and detours prior to construction.

The intersection of Second Street and Community Drive will be the first phase of the project, Kurtz said. It will be reconstructed during the summer of 2024 while school is out.

“We think because it is not a roundabout, construction time will be reduced,” he said.

A new storm sewer line and curb inlet structures will be installed to help improve drainage in the area, a problem that residents have dealt with for years.

Another improvement will be the addition of a 280-foot, 12-by-6-foot, four-sided concrete box culvert to replace the existing piping that conveys the Von Fange Ditch under West Second Street.

Existing traffic signals will be replaced at the Community Drive, Walnut Street and Chestnut Street intersections, and new street lighting will be installed along the multi-use path. Existing streetlights are expected to be replaced, too.

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