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Doolittle Hill work slated to start

Doolittle Hill work slated to start Doolittle Hill work slated to start

Residents urged not to approach highway workers

The work needed to reopen Doolittle Hill Road will move forward. That’s the word this week from Harrison County Commissioner Jim Heitkemper.

Heitkemper said there will be a construction meeting with the design engineer, Bonnie Money with USI Consultants Inc., and the project contractor, Temple & Temple, this week at the site northeast of Elizabeth. It was announced during the commissioners’ regularly scheduled meeting Monday morning that took place via conference call due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are going to do that preliminary meeting,” said Mel Quick-Miller, the highway department’s assistant superintendent.

The road has been closed after a slide-off last spring made it unsafe for motorists. Work was scheduled to begin in May, weather permitting, before the COVID-19 outbreak began. The overall length of the project, once it begins, should take approximately 90 days.

Quick-Miller also said the highway department is continuing to work and some of the workers in the field are having problems with residents approaching them to talk. She said people should not be approaching highway workers to discuss concerns at this time.

“The highway department is out and about,” Quick-Miller said. “We are working, we are trying to work through this different time, this different way of doing things.”

She added any resident wanting to address road-related issues can still call the highway department at 812-738-2920 and talk to someone on staff. Quick-Miller said this will help practice social distancing.

The highway department is open from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

“They can call the office, and we can take care of their concerns,” Quick-Miller said. “We can send somebody out to help them and assist them, but we would just prefer they keep a minimum, if they can, to actually approaching our guys out in the field, just for everybody’s safety. We want to remind them of that.”

Commissioner Kenny Saulman said he doesn’t believe any county employee has tested positive for the coronavirus.

“We don’t have any cases yet of any county workers that I know of,” he said, “and we don’t want any.”

In other county business, Julie Moorman, president/CEO of the Harrison County Community Foundation, said her office has discussed emergency needs nonprofits throughout the county have right now.

“We have set up a COVID-19 relief fund,” Moorman said over the phone. “And that’s an opportunity for people to give to a fund that will help those nonprofits right here in our community.”

The county commissioners’ next meeting is scheduled for Monday, April 20, at 7 p.m.