Eighteen seems to be the magic number for the Indiana Department of Transportation’s Seymour District. Leaders there oversee road and bridge work in 18 counties and narrow down a wish list into concrete plans with an 18-month letting timetable.
The counties (Ripley, Franklin, Bartholomew, Brown, Clark, Dearborn, Decatur, Floyd, Harrison, Jackson, Jefferson, Jennings, Johnson, Monroe, Ohio, Scott, Switzerland and Washington) are grouped into five subdistricts in Aurora, Bloomington, Columbus, Falls City and Madison.
The numbers are staggering: “The Seymour District is responsible for maintaining 4,675 lane miles of state roads, 755 lane miles of interstate, 1,910 large culverts, 943 state bridges, 163 snow routes, 355 traffic signals, 187 flashers, 52,094 road signs and 1,424 panel signs,” according to the Web site www.in.gov/indot.
Now that work to replace a State Road 229 bridge deck overlay across Laughery Creek south of Ballstown has temporarily closed that road section, officials are finishing preliminary work and getting ready to award bids on 12 projects in Ripley and Franklin counties.
Harry Maginity, Seymour District public information director, notes that the letting list is rather fluid. “It can be pushed back a month or two months.” Money for a planned project can even be re-prioritized for emergency work. “Nothing is really written in stone until you actually do a letting. Then you’ve got a contract.”
In chronological order by county, here’s what area residents are in for in the near future:
u U.S. 421 between County Road 300 North to Jac-Cen-Del School Drive in Osgood will get a hot mix asphalt overlay for preventive maintenance, letting date July 10. The 1.9-mile surface treatment is better than the chip and seal technique, he says. “It doesn’t add much structure, but it will seal the road” for an average of 7,000 daily vehicles. The projected $300,000 work will be completed “pretty fast. It’s a little inconvenient when it’s happening, but it won’t take very long.”