PRINCETON — An estimated $5.8 million pavement rehab project for 3.6 miles of Ind. 64 west of Princeton is on the Indiana Department of Transportation work calendar in 2021.
According to INDOT's major project website, the preservation work is estimated for completion in the second quarter of 2021.
The roadwork was a topic of discussion at Tuesday morning's Gibson County Council session when residents asked about any coming improvements to the highway, which gets heavy use from semi tractor-trailers and serves as a major work commuter route for Illinois residents.
County Engineer Matt Holden reported some deep patching, millwork and overlay is planned at the U.S. 41/Ind. 64 interchange with some realignment work planned on the U.S. 41 exit into Princeton.
Holden said major reconstruction of Ind. 64 west of Princeton is planned in 2020. INDOT's NextLevel Roads project map shows some preservation work on Ind. 64 west of the city to start this fall, but the most extensive work is scheduled for 2020-21.
He reported the intensive work would include removing 7 inches of the pavement of the center 20 feet of the highway down to the concrete base, and repaving, plus work on the shoulders outside that 20-feet width.
The work will close the highway for two months. Holden said county commissioners are working to make improvements to Lyles Station Road (CR100N) as a local alternate route from U.S. 41.
INDOT also plans to replace pavement on about a half mile portion of Ind. 64 in Francisco, from the railroad tracks to just east of Francisco Elementary School. A public hearing for that project is scheduled at the school cafeteria at 6 p.m. May 22.
Gibson County Highway Superintendent Chuck Lewis said the county's chip and seal work has started in Washington Township and paving projects are also underway. The department will advertise bids in June for paving projects to be funded through the $1 million in Community Crossing grant funds from INDOT.
Lewis said spring and summer mark the beginning of road construction season and asked motorists to be patient, noting that someone drove around barricades during a recent project. "We all want to get home at the end of the day, so be patient with us," he said.
In other business at Tuesday morning's county council session:
• Gibson County Veterans Service Officer George Pickersgill reported the annual Memorial Day program is at 11:30 a.m. Monday, May 27, at the gazebo on the courthouse square. Local veterans organizations take part in the event after paying respect at about 40 local cemeteries earlier in the day.
• The council approved an additional appropriation which allows the Princeton Public Library to spend the proceeds of a $4.5 million bond issue and about $500,000 the library has allocated for the library's expansion project. Attorney J. Robert Kinkle said the board has accepted a $4,378,960 bid for the project and needs to sign the contract soon.
• Members endorsed Gibson County Public Health Nurse Administrator Diane Hornby's plans to apply for an emergency preparedness grant of $25,000 that would pay for a part-time registered nurse at a rate of $17 per hour. They also endorsed Gibson County Board of Health plans to spend up to $35,000 to purchase a pickup for the department's use.
• The council approved two additional appropriations and a fund transfer totaling $52,187.50 for medical expenses and overtime for the sheriff's office/jail and approved a $360,000 highway department additional appropriation.
• Before the council adjourned, councilman Bill McConnell registered his concern about local Tax Increment Finance projects. McConnell said he's concerned the county will be "written up" by the State Board of Accounts for awarding TIF revenue from the Patoka-Union Township Redevelopment District to projects that are outside that district.
County Commissioner Steve Bottoms said projects that have received use of TIF revenue have documented benefit to that TIF district.