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Connector road work picks up speed

Connector road work picks up speed
Connector road work picks up speed
Jagger Kellum and Travis Schmitt, employees of Ragle Inc., talk yesterday morning (Tuesday) with Kevin Russel, the Harrison County engineer, about a culvert they are working on as part of the Lanesville connector road project. With them is Josh Culver of American Structurepoint. Photo by J.C. Lyell

Warmer weather is allowing work to pick up on the Lanesville connector road project.
The construction of the new road is expected to alleviate congestion on Interstate 64 at the Georgetown/Edwardsville exit by allowing drivers to bypass Georgetown via the Lanesville interstate exit and help promote growth in Harrison County.
Work began last summer and is expected to go into 2020. It calls for extending the road, north of the Lanesville exit, to the northern part of Old Lanesville Road. As part of the project, workers will need to construct a bridge over the Norfolk Southern Railroad.
Kevin Russel, engineer for the Harrison County Highway Dept., said the weather has made it challenging so far due to record rain in 2018. Progress was made during the winter months, he said.
‘They have been able to install a few of the critical drainage structures,’ Josh Culver, a construction engineer with American Structurepoint out of Jeffersonville, said, ‘the cross culverts that will cross the new alignment of the road there.’
American Structurepoint is a construction and engineering consulting firm that is overseeing the construction of the project. The company also was selected to do the design work for the final phase of the project.
Culver updated the Harrison County Board of Commissioners about the progress Monday morning at its regularly scheduled meeting, which lasted about 24 minutes.
On Tuesday, Culver, Russell and others toured the road to look at the progress. Much of it was focused on erosion issues where Indiana Dept. of Environmental Management inspectors had noticed silt earlier on in the project.
‘While IDEM has found some things that need to be worked on, it would have been expected for those things to happen, given the conditions we’ve been working with,’ Russel said.
The contractor on the project is Ragle Inc., which is based in Newburgh. The contractor said it could do the work for a little less than $9.2 million. The Harrison County Council committed nearly $4.5 million in riverboat money to fund the project. The rest of the costs are covered through grants and state funding.
Culver said Ragle also is doing utility relocation work for Ramsey Water Co., which is a separate contract linked to the project. He added that work has gotten as far as it can until a time can be set to close a road to resume the work.
Russel said right-of-way acquisition on the final phase could begin in late 2019 but it will more likely start in 2020. It’s the final stage of the project, which will take the road from Old Lanesville Road to S.R. 64 west of Georgetown, near Gun Club Road.
The Federal Highway Administration has awarded the county more than $10.1 million to complete the final portion of the road.
The commissioners’ next meeting will be Monday, April 15, at 7 p.m. at the Government Center in Corydon.