Commissioners vote to lower speed limit on Mill Creek Road

BEDFORD – Site Security Manager at Lehigh Hanson, Troy Lobosky, requested the commissioners to lower the speed limit on Mill Creek Road from Meridian Road to Ball Road.

The commissioner approved the request but only after Lawrence County Sheriff Mike Branham and Lawrence County Highway Superintendent complete a road study, which will be completed next week.

The speed limit will be lowered to 35 miles per hour.

Lobosky requested officials to lower the speed limit due to the increased traffic on the roadways that stems from the construction project at the Lehigh plant.

“We are not seeing a problem with the drivers delivering at the plant, the problem is with the residents and bulk trucks,” added Lobosky. “It would just be safer lowering the speed limit with the movement in and out of the seven entrances to the quarry and the heavy traffic for the expansion project.”

The commissioners also approved a contract with Dossett Consulting to complete a cost allocation plan for child support reimbursement.

The three year contract will cost $15,000.

The consulting firm will help the county navigate federal and state laws for claiming child support reimbursements. They work with HUD, the Indiana FSSA Department of Child Services and county auditor, clerk, prosecutor and the courts to review claims for accuracy and seek any overlooked allowed reimbursements which can then be used locally.

Lawrence County Highway Superintendent David Holmes reported highway crews are busy mowing, and patching potholes.

David Holmes

Flynn & Sons Excavating & Paving Inc. finished a paving project in Heltonville.

“Milestone Contractors will begin paving around June 28th once they complete INDOT projects they are currently conducting and have a deadline to complete,” added Holmes.

The first round of bridge inspections will begin on June 17th. Fourteen bridges will be inspected.

Butler, Fairman & Seufert, Inc. completed the bridge design for Bridge 138 on Oolitic Road. Holmes will be submitting it for the second round of the Community Crossing funds. The total cost to replace the deck of the bridge is estimated at $750,000.

“We are hoping to receive the funding and begin construction in the fall,” Holmes added. “We used drones and found the bearing pads have shifted to the east. Thankfully they can’t move anymore. The plan is to start construction in the fall if we receive funding, if we don’t get the award I honestly don’t think we will have the money to replace the bridge.”

The bearing pad plays a crucial role in bridge safety, dependability, and longevity.

Sheriff Mike Branham reported there are currently 151 inmates in the jail. Of those 125 are males, 26 females, four Level 6 felons, nine Department of Correction holds and one parole hold.

Sheriff Mike Branham

Sheriff Branham reported today four deputies and himself are being trained on the department’s new drones.

“The drones will be used on crime scenes, accident reconstruction and search and rescue,” he added. “They have speakers so we can talk to those who are lost and direct them out of a location or to communicate with a suspect. They also have heat sensors to locate a missing or lost person or a suspect.”

The department is also placing stationary license plate readers throughout the county. The readers will read a license plate and then send an alert to officer’s in-car computers if that vehicle has been stolen or alert officers of a possible wanted person connected to that license plate. These readers will not address motorist speeding.

The license plate readers will be in place once the department receives permission from INDOT. The readers will be placed on state owned rightaways.

“None of this equipment was paid for with taxpayer money,” added Sheriff Branham. “They were purchased with fees earmarked for these projects.”

Commissioner Rodney Fish

Commissioner Rodney Fish asked about addressing the increase of speeding motorists in the county.

“It is becoming a problem,” said Fish.

Sheriff Branham said once emergency management is finished using the sign trailers, they will then be placed in locations known for motorists exceeding the speed limit. They are equipped with radar and camera imaging to help address speeding motorists.

Emergency Management Director Valerie Luchauer reported she is continuing to update the health section of the county’s emergency management plan.