4 to 8 weeks left for road project
Nearly a month into a new school year, buses for the South Harrison Community School Corp. are having to either take detours or bounce their students along Corydon-New Middletown Road, which is in the middle of a resurfacing project and is currently gravel in a 4,500-foot stretch of the roadway.
Scott Brown of engineering firm CivilCon assured the Harrison County Board of Commissioners that work is, in fact, being completed and the entire project, weather permitting, will be done in a month or two, at most.
‘Hopefully, we’ll be paving in the upcoming month,’ Brown said.
The actual contracted date for completion is Nov. 26.
‘I hope to goodness it’ll be done before that,’ Commissioner Kenny Saulman said.
Brown said lime stabilization throughout the 4,500-foot stretch of road has to be completed before paving can begin.
Any time there’s a significant rain event, of which there’s been plenty this summer, the crew loses about a week of work, Brown said.
‘It takes about that long for the clay to dry up,’ he said.
Steve Duley, transportation director for South Harrison schools, said six buses use Corydon-New Middletown Road in the area of the construction. Four have changed their routes, using Fogel or Pfrimmer’s Chapel roads, but two other routes must drive on the gravel to get to where they’re going.
‘Last year, when they started, the foreman over there said they were shutting the road down and nothing was getting through,’ Duley said. ‘We talked to them, and we have to get the buses through. It’s rocky and bumpy, but we have to do it. We have to get the kids to and from school, from New Middletown (Elementary) and then from the Corydon campus to New Middletown.’
Duley added that he’s heard rumors it could be November before the road officially re-opens.
‘Kids are getting sick, and one bus got a flat tire on the back,’ he said. ‘I figured the first of the school year everything would be OK.’
The re-routed contracted bus drivers are probably losing some money due to the construction, Duley said.
‘Really, I think it’s the inconvenience of having to go around, and (the road) is tearing up their buses,’ he said.