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Highway department settles into new home

Very practical and very efficient.
Those are the words most used to describe the new Harrison County Highway Dept. garage facility south of Corydon.
Spacious, state-of-the-art and highly functional would also fit.
The Harrison County Highway Dept. and county government had discussed the need for a new facility for the better part of the millennium ‘ and probably even before that ‘ and finally, earlier this year, it moved from its cramped location in the Harrison County Business Park north of Corydon to its new home on almost 19 acres along Old S.R. 135 near Shiloh Road just east of S.R. 135.
The four-bay main garage facility ‘ 100 feet by 170 feet by 22 feet tall ‘ includes tornado-resistant office space, a large repair shop, a mezzanine area for storage and a welding shop.
The garage area has a number of energy-efficient aspects, including the ceiling and flooring.
The office space area ‘ which includes a front lobby, a large area for secretarial work, garage foreman and mechanic offices, rest rooms and offices for the county engineer, engineer technician and highway department superintendent ‘ is built with the same design and color scheme as the Government Center in south Corydon.
The site also includes a salt building (100 by 175 by 20 feet) that can house up to 4,000 tons of salt. It also will include a brine-making station. Brine is a salt-and-water mixture used as a preventative measure against snow and ice on roads.
The water from the salt will drain into a septic tank-like system that will return the water for use in brine making.
A wash bay, 20 by 75 by 16 feet, is located adjacent to the main garage facility.
The entrance to the facility is off of Old S.R. 135, and there is an entrance for both the general public and highway trucks and machinery.
County engineer Kevin Russel said visitors from all over the state have been amazed at the facility.
‘I’ll put it up there with any in the state because of its efficiency and functionality,’ he said.
Russel said they’re proud of the project and the fact it was completed with local people. The project manager was Shireman Construction and the architect/engineer firm was Paul Primavera & Associates, both based in Corydon.
Highway department employee Jeremy Baker said the garage is the best one he’s seen.
Before the completion of the project, the engineer’s office was located at the Government Center. Now, it’s housed with the highway department, a natural fit, Russel said.
The old engineer’s office was taken over by the Harrison County Emergency Management Agency.
The old garage, in the Harrison County Business Park north of Corydon, lacked the space needed to adequately and efficiently perform the department’s duties, according to county officials.
It also had issues such as drainage into a sinkhole and diesel fumes in close quarters with no exhaust system. The department’s main storage, including salt, was outside with no protection from the elements.
The project, from land acquisition to completion, had a total budget of $4.3 million. In May, officials with project manager Shireman Construction said the project was substantially complete at more than $188,000 under budget.
The board of commissioners was pleased with the process and final project.
‘It’s gone extremely well,’ Commissioner George Ethridge said. ‘Good, quick, quality work going on out there.’
For more information about the department, visit its Facebook page (Harrison County Highway Department) or call 812-738-2920.
The address is 1359 Old S.R. 135 NW, Corydon.