Work planned on street repairs

Construction will begin this week on a project to repair a short but heavily traveled stretch of West Second Street near Seymour High School.

Workers from the city’s Water Pollution Control facility are scheduled to spend two weeks on the job beginning Friday, weather permitting.

They hope to have the work completed before students return to school from winter break Jan. 6.

“We didn’t want to contend with school traffic,” utility director Randy Hamilton said. “But the weather could create some problems, and we might have to extend that date.”

The project will include replacing a section of roadway, the sidewalk and guardrails near the intersection of Second Street and Community Drive going west on Second Street for 1,500 feet.

All pedestrian traffic will be restricted from the area, and the slip lane, which allows eastbound traffic on Second Street to turn south onto Community Drive at the intersection without stopping, will be closed. The straight lane continuing east also will be closed, leaving the left turn lane open.

Because of the lane closures, the intersection will become a four-way stop for the duration of construction. The closure will go into effect after 4 p.m. Friday.

Safety equipment, including lighted signs and construction barrels, will be set up around the work site to alert motorists of construction.

Hamilton said the work is needed to save the road, which is crumbling a due to a box culvert that was improperly installed in the early 1970s.

“They didn’t properly seal around the box culvert, so it got water down into it, which has washed out that area,” he said. “The culvert is the culprit.”

Hamilton said the city has patched the road numerous times but has not had funding available for a permanent fix.

“It’s been an ongoing issue for some time now,” he said. “A lot of people have complained about it.”

He estimated the project will cost between $60,000 and $70,000. That money will come from the city’s new stormwater utility, funded through residential, commercial, industrial and other user fees.

The money will allow workers to repair the existing catch basin, sidewalk and curb and put in a second basin to catch and divert storm water overflow to the Von Fange Ditch, Hamilton said.

That will help prevent flooding and standing water issues in the future, he added.

The deterioration of the road has also caused part of the lid to the box culvert to crumble away, Hamilton added. Workers will replace that portion of the lid and will be concreting the whole area to seal it and prevent future water damage.

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January Rutherford is a reporter for The (Seymour) Tribune. She can be reached at jrutherford@tribtown.com or 812-523-7069.