Main Street Phase II and III on schedule for spring rental |
Work is progressing well on the last two phases of a total reconstruction of Main Street.
City Engineer John Sprague told members of the City Redevelopment Commission on Thursday that the acquisition of the right-of-way over Phases II and III of an ongoing project on Main Street is underway.
Initial offers will be sent to those affected by construction of Phase II – which picks up at Jamestown Apartments and extends beyond the intersection of Main Street with Felt King Road – early next month, he said. he declares.
“The owners will get initial offers,” he said, “then we’ll move on to negotiations, which can take up to two months.”
Sprague said he hoped no sentencing proceedings would be necessary.
“I do not foresee any,” he told the RDC. “We had a public meeting, met all the owners who had questions. There were a few that were questionable, but we went the extra mile, changed our plans.
“I really think things have gone pretty well, and I hope everyone is happy with where we are at.”
One of the key elements of Phase II is the reconfiguration of the rather convoluted intersection of Main Street with Felt King Road as well as the exits on Ramsey Road and nearby Sievers Road.
After much discussion a year ago – including discussions about a possible roundabout – the RDC voted to take Felt King Road to the west and connect it to Ramsey Road at an angle of almost 90 degrees.
Initially, the project was to sweep Felt King east and through a nearby wood, bringing it at a 90-degree angle on Main Street closer to Sievers Road.
But the Indiana Department of Environmental Management and the state’s Department of Natural Resources have taken notice, raising red flags for everything from lost wildlife habitat to needed (and expensive) mitigation. wetlands.
In the end, they decided taking Felt King at a 90 degree angle with Ramsey was the easiest, safest, and best decision.
But Sprague told the DRC on Thursday that although $ 200,000 had been set aside for the acquisition of the right-of-way under Phase II, it ended up being “grossly underfunded”.
That said, the Indiana Department of Transportation gave the city additional funding of $ 400,000, essentially increasing the amount of the grant given to the city to cover additional costs.
The city long ago secured a grant of almost $ 4 million to cover the cost of Phase II. The RDC recovers the corresponding 20%.
Sprague said he was “very grateful” for the additional funding, which will “strengthen” the project and allow it to move forward.
As for the acquisition of the right-of-way as part of Phase III – which takes the project to Clark Middle School at Richard Bauer Drive – there’s not much.
Any other necessary right of way, he said, is only temporary.
“So it should be a much simpler process,” he told RDC.
He also said that as part of Phase III, the city will likely spend an additional $ 20,000 on design costs, but this is expected to result in savings of up to $ 250,000 in that it can avoid replacing a water pipe. water there.
Details on this, he said, should be available when the RDC meets again next month.
In other Main Street cases, Sprague last month presented RDC members with a demand stemming from the necessary tree removal along the two remaining phases.
He requested permission to seek a contractor ahead of the tendering process, slated for spring, as he wants to move forward with the pullout so as not to disrupt the Indiana bat in Endangered.
If the city offers both projects in the spring, they will be too close to cutting down trees during federally protected bat mating season.
Federal regulations prohibit disturbing the endangered Indiana bat, which hibernates in caves during the winter but emerges during the warmer months, between April 1 and October 1, their mating season. .
Their favorite places to nest are in trees, either in branches or even behind bark.
Sprague feared the trees could be felled before the April 1 deadline. So he asked for offers from entrepreneurs in the region and received three.
The lowest was that of Wabash Utilities of Vincennes for $ 46,800. The second highest came from Bicknell’s Kerns Excavating for just under $ 59,000, and the third from McCarter Tree Trimming in Wheatland for a higher amount of $ 72,000.
The RDC took all three under advisement. Sprague plans to review them and recommend one of the three when the RDC meets again next month.
Over a year ago, RDC completed the initial $ 4 million reconstruction of Main Street from 22nd Street to the Jamestown Apartments, including wider lanes, sidewalks and lighting.
And while a grant pays for the majority of Phase II, RDC will pay for all of Phase III.
Both will be done at the same time, probably next summer.