Seymour officials will celebrate the completion of the West Second Street reconstruction project with a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

The public is invited to attend the event at 11 a.m. July 13 at the intersection of Second Street and Ranie Court.

Mayor Craig Luedeman, board of works and city council members, GAI Consultants of Scottsburg who designed the project and representatives from contractor Milestone Contractors in Columbus will take part in the celebration.

It’s a day residents who live along the street and motorists who travel it have been waiting for since the $3 million project began in March. Discussions on it began 20 years ago.

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The stretch of rebuilt road 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 and improve the entire street from Lasher Drive to Springhill Road.

Improvements that have been made as part of the completed project include the addition of a storm sewer to help alleviate flooding, curbs, gutters and a sidewalk on the north side of the street, all of which when paired with the new road surface make traveling the area easier and safer for motorists and pedestrians, city officials said.

The project received Federal Highway Administration funds to cover 80 percent of the cost. The remaining 20 percent is being covered by local tax dollars from the city.

Construction on the second phase should begin in April 2017, city engineer Nathan Frey said.

But before then, the city is working with Milestone to repave the short stretch of West Second Street from Lasher to Community Drive.

“It’s kind of a forgotten piece in that part of town,” Frey said.

The additional paving will cost $140,000, which will come from $3 million in bonds the city sold earlier this year to invest in road maintenance and repair and other capital projects.

Luedeman said he was in favor of getting the whole road complete sooner rather than later.

The city is looking at redoing the intersection of Second Street and Community Drive and putting new traffic signals in, too, Frey said.

“We had a traffic study done over the last six months, and I just got it back last month to look at what the proper fix is there,” he said. “The way it is configured now functions OK.”

There isn’t a high rate of accidents or a traffic congestion problem in the area, he added.

“It needs updated. The intersection was built in 1974,” he said. “The equipment is out of date. It does not meet any Americans with Disabilities Act standards. The road is in poor shape.”

Although it would be considered a reconstruction project, Frey said when complete, it would look similar to the existing layout.

There was another option of creating a roundabout, but instead, the city is leaning toward just replacing the traffic signals, he said.

The project would qualify for federal funding through the Indiana Department of Transportation and is expected to cost $1.2 million to $1.5 million. The city would be required to provide a 20 percent match.

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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.