Burkart, Westgate roads set for work

City officials plan to use federal funding to resurface stretches of two heavily traveled streets in Seymour.

The Seymour Board of Public Works and Safety approved contracts with the Indiana Department of Transportation last week that will result in the repaving of Burkart Boulevard from State Street north to O’Brien Street and Westgate Road from Vehslage Road east to Second Street.

The projects will go out to bid in April, with work expected to begin in June.

Although the two streets might not be in the worst condition, the projects are considered preventive maintenance to keep them from getting that way, city engineer Nathan Frey said.

Seymour put into place a new road maintenance plan this year to keep roads from deteriorating to the point they have to be rebuilt. The plan, which city officials say is more cost effective in the long run, calls for several roads to be repaved each year along with other preventive measures, such as crack filling and sealing and using road rejuvenators and surface sealers.

The INDOT contracts require the city to provide a 20 percent match for each project with federal funds paying for 80 percent of the cost up to $600,000.

That means the city will be responsible for roughly $150,000 for Burkart Boulevard and around $35,000 for Westgate Road, totaling $185,000 from city funds to cover both projects. Federal funding will pay $140,000 for Westgate Road and $600,000 for Burkart Bouelvard, for a total of $740,000. In all, the city is getting $925,000 worth of road work for less than $200,000.

“We’ll have to jockey some money around in the budget, but I think we’re going to have to make it work,” Mayor Craig Luedeman said. “Those are two big stretches of road that are used a lot, and this kills a lot of birds with one stone.”

Burkart Boulevard is used by traffic coming off of U.S. 50 and leads to both the Eastside Industrial Park and northwest to State Road 11. Westgate Road is near Seymour High School.

It would be a disservice to the community not to proceed, Luedeman said.

“We’re off our rockers if we don’t approve these contracts,” he said. “I think these are both win-wins for the city.”

Not only will the roads be resurfaced, Frey said, but since the projects will be funded through federal dollars, they also will address existing curb ramps and sidewalks.

“Anything that is noncompliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act will be handled, as well,” he said.

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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.