City, county receive $1 million from state for road improvements

Seymour and Jackson County each have received nearly $1 million to improve local roads and bridges.

The money is coming from Indiana Department of Transportation’s Community Crossings matching grant fund.

Nathan Frey, Seymour city engineer, said the city’s distribution of $960,913.10 will be used to repave streets identified in an asset management plan.

The county received $977,456.75.

Over the summer, Seymour has worked with First Group Engineering to bid two construction contracts for roadwork. Bids were opened Thursday morning by the board of works and will be awarded at 11 a.m. Wednesday during a special meeting.

One contract is for complete HMA overlay of portions of 15 streets equaling 51,953 feet of road surface. HMA overlay includes patching, milling and repaving with 1.5 inches of new asphalt.

The contract includes parts of O’Brien Street, Kasting Road, Second Avenue, Corporate Way, Blish Street, Commerce Drive, Lynn Street, D Avenue, Schleter Road, Maple Street, Indianapolis Avenue, Church Avenue, Third Street, Ewing Street and the city hall parking lot.

The second contract is for a microsurface of portions of 56 streets equaling 163,110 feet of roads. Microsurfacing is a thinner overlay process. Contractors had the option of bidding HMA overlay for the second contract, too.

All of the work is expected to be completed by October, weather permitting. Any roads not completed this year will be repaved in the spring.

Seymour’s matching funds of nearly $1 million are coming from two sources — a special one-time distribution of state EDIT funds that was announced April 22 and a capital bond the city issued also this past spring.

Over the past two years, the city has been able to take advantage of lower asphalt prices, federal funding for projects on Westgate Road, West Second Street and Burkart Boulevard and now the EDIT and Community Crossings grant to complete more roadwork than it ever has in the past.

“Literally, hundreds of times more roadwork,” Frey said.

But it’s still not enough to fix every problem, he added.

“We are aware that many neighborhood streets, sidewalks and alleys are still in desperate need of attention,” he said. “Years like this, however, are a blessing to the city.”

Julie Wehmiller with the county highway department said the county’s grant money will be used for four projects, one of which already is complete.

This summer, the county spent $882,112.49 on contract paving for 14.82 miles of county roads. The Community Crossings grant will reimburse half of that expenditure, Wehmiller said. The other half came from local income tax revenue.

Other projects to be completed with the grant monies are repaving of an additional 9.15 miles of county roads, including 300S from 400E to 300E, 300S from 300E to State Road 39, 850E from State Road 11 to 860E and portions of 1240E (Frontage Road), 1125N and 1190N. Also, Bridge 183 will be improved, Wehmiller said.

A special grant presentation will be made at 9 a.m. Monday at the INDOT office in Seymour.

INDOT announced a list of 99 southern Indiana cities, towns and counties selected to receive grants Tuesday at presentations in Clark County and Evansville. A total of $49 million was distributed.

The most a community could receive was $1 million.

“Both large and small communities in southern Indiana demonstrated strong commitments to modernizing their roads and bridges and identified matching funds,” said INDOT Commissioner Brandye Hendrickson.

The local road and bridge matching grant fund was created by the Indiana General Assembly and signed into law by Gov. Mike Pence in March. The grant program provides approximately $160 million in funding this year available to all Indiana cities, towns and counties on a 50/50 matching basis.

On Wednesday, INDOT officials made stops in New Haven and LaPorte to feature projects receiving funding in those communities and announce all northern Indiana communities that will receive matching funds.

Projects that are eligible for funding through Community Crossings include road resurfacing, bridge rehabilitation, road reconstruction, resurfacing and Americans with Disabilities Act compliance in connection with road projects. Material costs for chip sealing and crack filling operations also are eligible for funds.

On the Web

A complete list of southern Indiana communities receiving funds through Community Crossings for the calendar year 2016 call for projects is online at

For information about Community Crossings, visit

Author photo
January Rutherford is a reporter for The (Seymour) Tribune. She can be reached at or 812-523-7069.