(WEST BADEN SPRINGS) - Another highway project is close to construction as the effort continues to improve access to Interstate 64 from Lawrence County.
Roger Moon of the Times-Mail reports that Indiana 37/145 Association's Chris Gentry told the group the contract has been awarded for work to be done on a section of U.S. 150/Ind. 56 running from 5.2 miles east of Prospect to Paoli. The project ends about 650 feet west of County Road 225 West (Indian Boundary Road) on the west side of Paoli (just west of the old Newberry Church).
Gentry works for the Indiana Department of Transportation and collectively manages the various projects that together make up the Interstate 64 improved accessibility plan. He said of the recently awarded contract, "We had three bids on that project. Milestone (Contractors) is the one that ended up getting awarded. The bid was $5,299,368.49."
He added, "We've got the completion date set for Oct. 30, 2014." As for when the work will begin, Gentry said, "They probably won't do a whole lot with it this winter, other than clearing some right of way (and doing some) utility work. You'll see construction, hot and heavy, this spring on that one."
Gentry also reported on progress of the segment of U.S. 150/Ind. 56 work that begins at Prospect and runs easterly toward Paoli. Concerning the work in the area long known as the Prospect Y, Gentry said, "That is about 70 percent completed."
He then added, "The total project out there is about 40 percent complete. They've got some work they're finishing at Prospect, that passing blister there. They're working to get that done by this winter."
Stoplights are now in place to control the flow of traffic where the highway is narrowed to one lane. But, Gentry said, "Another primary focus is to get the temporary signals down ... and have that opened back up to two lanes."
Ind. 37 work
Gentry briefed the association's members on the various projects that make up improvements to Ind. 37 from the point where the four-lane ends at Mitchell and the road moves south to the north edge of Paoli.
Concerning the segment north of Orleans, Gentry said, "They're working to get it wrapped up by the first of next year. We've got all the work on the west side of the road pretty much complete. We're working on the east side, doing shoulder work."
Gentry then turned to the segment of Ind. 37 between Paoli and Orleans. Responding to a question posed by Bedford's Bill Schrader, chairman of the highway association, Gentry said, "There shouldn't be any miles per hour restriction, like we have 35 miles per hour (on the northernmost section) until springtime.
"But they are continuing to work. Right now they're working on karst features."
Another segment of work focuses on Ind. 37 in the town of Orleans, which Gentry suggested is "torn up."
"We've got curbs and gutters, sidewalks. We've got some water lines that we're installing, pipe structure," he said. "All that work on (Ind,) 37 continues through winter. They're going to do everything they can, based on weather. Some days they will be down. Some days they will get to work. But the conclusion dates on the (Ind.) 37 stretch (all segments) will be November 2013."
Town of Paoli
After the road has been improved from Prospect to Paoli - again, in December 2014 - the final phase of the overall project will shift to the town of Paoli. Those improvements are divided into two separate projects - one from the west side of town to First Street (just west of the Paoli Square) and the other beginning at First Street, moving around the square and ending on the north side of town. Bid letting for those projects is set for Dec. 10, 2014.
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