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Busy year in store for highway department

Busy year in store for highway department
Busy year in store for highway department
Work continues below the west bridge last week in downtown Corydon preparing the area of the Indian Creek Trail expansion and connection project. Photo by Ross Schulz

The Harrison County Highway Dept. was busy this winter, working nights and other overtime to keep the roads cleared of snow and ice. The busy year will continue when the temperature starts to rise for good, with five major projects underway or ready to go to construction in 2018.
The largest project is the Lanesville connector road, leading from the Interstate 64 interchange area to S.R. 64 west of Georgetown near Gun Club Road.
Tree-clearing work has already been completed for the second phase of the project, which will extend the road from George’s Hill Road north to Old Lanesville Road.
The permit restricted tree cutting after April 1 in order to protect the Indiana Brown Bat, Harrison County Engineer Kevin Russel said.
‘Since the contract was being let in April, we had to cut the trees within the right-of-way now or else no work could be completed this construction season,’ Russel said.
The department’s brush crew, along with Arty’s Logging, completed the task last week.
‘While this will be a great project for the community, it is a big change as well,’ he said. ‘And we understand that and will do everything we can to minimize the impacts of the project where we can when construction begins in earnest later this summer.’
Construction on the final piece, leading from Old Lanesville Road to S.R. 64 (about 1/4 mile east of Gun Club Road), is scheduled for 2022.
Work continues on the Indian Creek Trail expansion project, which will include the addition of the old Valley View Road Bridge. The bridge is in the process of being dismantled and removed from its current home.
‘This historic bridge will continue on in service for many years to come in its new home,’ Russel said.
When the county built the new bridge on Valley View Road, per state law, the old bridge had to be rehabbed (removal of lead paint) and maintained, at a cost estimate of $600,000 to $700,000.
With that in mind, it made financial sense, officials said, to incorporate it on the trail.
The trail will connect the current Hayswood Nature Reserve portion to the Doolittle Hill section that runs between the west bridge and the YMCA of Harrison County. It will go under the west bridge in downtown Corydon continuing south to Indian Creek where the new bridge will be placed and eventually hook up with the already completed trail on the Hayswood property.
Bids for the replacement of Bridge 91 on Tee Road were opened earlier this month with the contract awarded to Fulkerson Contracting of Lanesville. The bridge is currently the last remaining bridge (on a county road) in the county with a posted weight limit. It will be removed after replacement.
The Corydon-New Middletown Road Phase 3 project, from near Montgomery Road to past Pfrimmer’s Chapel Road near the town of New Middletown limits, also will begin this spring with a completion date of Nov. 30.
And finally, the boat-ramp project at Morvin’s Landing near Mauckport will commence this year, after minor delays relating to the February flood.
‘Several of these projects are years in the making, so it’s very satisfying to see these projects nearing completion,’ Russel said in an email highlighting the work ahead.