Just minutes after putting the finishing touches on the second phase of a project to widen and repave a busy thoroughfare on Seymour’s west side, Mayor Craig Luedeman began discussing some other projects he would like to see completed.
“I think O’Brien Street could really use this same type of cleanup,” Luedeman said shortly after Friday’s ribbon-cutting ceremony marking the end of the second phase of the West Second Street project.
“It gets a lot of pedestrian traffic,” Luedeman said of both the north and south sections of O’Brien Street, which is just east of the downtown area.
“It needs sidewalks,” he said. “It needs the curbing and drainage.”
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Phase II of the West Second Street project, which included storm sewers, gutters and curbing from Vehslage Road to Springhill Road, came in under cost and was completed about two months early, he said.
Milestone Contractors of Columbus was awarded the contract for the work, which included construction of a sidewalk on the north side of West Second Street. The engineer’s estimated cost for Phase II was $939,000, but Milestone’s bid came in at $681,648, or $257,352 less than original projections.
The two phases of the project were funded through federal road money, with the city covering 20 percent of the cost with local tax revenue. The overall cost was $2.3 million.
The city also paid for paving the remainder of the street from Springhill Road to the city limits, west of White’s Station Road.
Milestone completed the first phase of reconstruction, from Lasher Drive west to Vehslage Road, in the summer of 2016. The company, along with the city and GAI Consultants, received recognition for that project in December from the Asphalt Pavement Association of Indiana.
Just like the first phase, the old road was taken out, and a new base of stone was installed along with a storm sewer, a gutter, new pavement and a sidewalk.
“The final product accommodates more vehicular traffic as well as pedestrians and has been needed for several years,” Luedeman said.
Mark Young, senior engineer manager for GAI Consultants, said the project was one of the smoothest he has ever been involved with and is a great example of what can be accomplished when everyone works together to accomplish a common goal while focusing on the needs of the community.
He said the addition of the sidewalk makes it possible for residents of the area to walk to downtown and fits well with the city’s approach to adding trails.
Luedeman said the O’Brien Street project will be costly but can be accomplished if tackled in phases, like West Second Street.
“It would be a great project,” he said.
The city also plans to seek another $1 million grant from the state’s Community Crossings program for repaving this coming year, and the city will add another $1 million of its own for a total of $2 million in road funding in 2018.
“That’s our goal for the next four to five years,” Luedeman said.
If that goal is accomplished, all of the city’s streets will be repaved in the next five years, he said.
“And I don’t know too many municipalities who can say that right now,” Luedeman said.