West Second Street project to begin next month

After delaying construction on a project to completely redo a stretch of West Second Street in Seymour until spring, contractors have informed city officials work will begin Dec. 1.

Mayor Craig Luedeman told city council members Monday that Milestone Inc. of Columbus has bumped up its schedule so it can begin installing storm sewers along the side of the street to help alleviate flooding issues.

“They anticipate putting in the storm sewer throughout the winter, and when the winter breaks, they will be able to start paving,” he said. “It’s good news. I don’t know how it will work through the winter, but at least they are trying to get it done.”

Besides the storm sewers, other improvements to be made as part of the $3 million project include added curbs, gutters and a sidewalk on the north side of the street, all of which, when paired with the new road surface, will make traveling West Second Street easier and safer for motorists and pedestrians.

West Second Street is a busy corridor, often used by motorists driving east to bypass U.S. 50 to get to downtown Seymour or to head west toward Brownstown. The street also is heavily used by students walking to and from Seymour High School.

In September, after receiving complaints from residents, the city’s board of public works and safety took emergency steps to patch the road, fixing major potholes and cracks at a cost of $18,000. That work was completed in September.

Luedeman said the repairs had to be made to get the road through the winter due to its deteriorating conditions and the numerous potholes that have led to damaged vehicles and legal claims being made against the city.

The stretch of road being rebuilt runs from Lasher Drive near Central Christian Church west to Vehslage Road. It’s the first phase of a two-phase project to reconstruct and widen Second Street from Lasher Drive to Springhill Road. Both phases together are estimated to cost more than $5 million.

When finished, the newly rebuilt road will be about 4 feet wider, city engineer Nathan Frey said.

Utilities have already been relocated so construction can begin.

Phase I has a completion date of September 2016. Originally, work was to begin this summer, but that schedule changed after a new contractor was hired due to an error in paperwork submitted by the original contractor.

The second phase isn’t expected to begin until 2017 at the earliest, officials said.

The project is being funded by federal highway transportation grants awarded to the city by the Indiana Department of Transportation with a 20 percent match from the city.

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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.