Road Improvements Underway in October

Additional state funds pending

General upkeep of the city’s streets this year has focused on “mill and fill” surface repairs, but two major projects promise to bring big changes in the coming year.

Etna Avenue, a $5 million-plus project, began in late spring and should be finished in August of 2018. The project, encompassing a three-quarter-mile stretch of roadway between the Wabash River and Jessup Street, includes storm sewers, a 10-foot recreation trail, road resurfacing, curb-and-gutter installation, and a new water main. The project is funded through an 80-20 split between the Federal Highway Administration (administered by the Indiana Department of Transportation) and the city, explained Anthony Goodnight, director of public works and engineering services.

A second project—Archbishop Noll Parkway—will move ahead if the city learns it has been chosen to receive $1 million in INDOT Community Crossings matching-grant funds. Under this year-old funding model, the state pays up to 50 percent of the cost of repaving municipal roads. If the city receives the state funding, Goodnight’s department will put a one-mile stretch of old US 24 on a “road diet,” altering the current four-lane configuration by removing one eastbound lane and replacing it with a multi-use paved path for cyclists, pedestrians, skateboarders, skaters, and others. In addition, the entire stretch of the parkway will be repaved and beautified. 

Goodnight praised the Community Crossings program. “It allows us to double down on what we’re doing,” he said, noting that typically the city pays for all annual repaving efforts (which can cost between $1 million and $1.5 million), but seeks grant funding to help with major road projects.

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