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60-40 federal-local split sought for connector road

The Harrison County Board of Commissioners Monday morning unanimously agreed to apply for 60-percent funding from the state on the Lanesville connector-road project, with the county picking up the remaining 40 percent.
‘Competition this year is pretty intense,’ Commissioner George Ethridge said. ‘They’ll be looking for something that’s going to stand out.’
Harrison County Engineer Kevin Russel said it has been a while since the Indiana Dept. of Transportation has had a call for projects, but the selection pool has grown significantly since the last time. Instead of competing with only projects in the Seymour District, Russel said, the county now must compete with projects from throughout the state.
Ethridge said the minimum requested local match, funds the county would have to provide, is 20 percent.
Commissioner Jim Klinstiver said he thought it would take a 50-50 match for the project to be awarded.
The total cost of the project is estimated to be about $8.7 million; at the 40-percent mark, the county would be responsible for nearly $3.5 million.
The proposed road would connect S.R. 64 and the Lanesville Interstate 64 interchange area.
Last month, the commissioners agreed to make the connector-road project priority No. 1 for federal funding (through the state). The second priority for funding is the Indian Creek Trail project.
The board also voted to rescind a $5 million commitment the previous board had instituted for the Corydon west Interstate 64 project. Members of the county council expressed to the board that they would not support funding for the connector-road project, or any other large project for that matter, if the $5 million was still committed to the second Corydon interchange project.
The county council will have to vote on the 60-40 plan Monday night. If it isn’t approved by the council, no request will be made.
The chosen route out of five proposals from the interchange area north to S.R. 64 is alternate four; it is the route approved by the Indiana Dept. of Transportation. The route follows Old Lanesville Road from the interchange area north to George’s Hill Road then heads west toward Felton Road, crosses the Norfolk Southern Railroad before heading north again to S.R. 64 (east of Gun Club Road), crossing Indian Creek along the way. The bridge needed to cross Indian Creek will have to be funded separately from the initial road project.
The original desired route by county officials was alternate 3, which is a little farther east and less expensive, but it was not accepted by INDOT.
The next board of commissioners’ meeting will be Monday, Dec. 16, at 7:30 p.m. It will be the last 7:30 meeting because the board elected to change the start time of the second monthly meeting to 7 p.m. in 2014.