Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

June 23, 2013

Caution: Road work ahead

Road work, construction projects abound for city, county, region

From staff reports

— Summer construction season is full of snarls, but it also signifies tax dollars at work for many Hoosiers. The Kokomo Tribune has compiled a list of construction projects going on throughout the area, including road paving and chip seal projects whenever available, to keep you moving through the summer.

The project with the biggest price tag and the largest potential for public inconvenience is slated to be complete this year. The U.S. 31 Kokomo project is a new four-lane divided limited-access freeway that bypasses Kokomo to the east. The project involves six new interchanges in a 13-mile stretch. The project cost is estimated at $155 million and is slated for completion by December 2013.

The multi-year project began construction in late 2008, according to the Indiana Department of Transportation website. Four stretches of work are under construction in 2013, spanning the entire length of the project.

The project is expected to reduce travel time through the area by about 10 minutes as traffic gets heavier on the highway.

Currently, both northbound and southbound traffic is reduced to a single lane – one in each direction – on the existing northbound side of the roadway from 400 North to Ida Drive.

On Monday, southbound traffic will begin using the new roadway going southbound. Northbound traffic will continue to be reduced to a single lane on the existing northbound side of the roadway. This traffic pattern will remain in place for about a week as construction crews move concrete barriers and apply pavement markings, according to an INDOT press release.

At the end of the day Friday, it is anticipated northbound traffic will be reduced to a single lane on the southbound side. This is remain in place until all new corridor tie-ins are completed in late fall.

Primco of Fort Wayne is the contractor for the north terminus section of the project.

INDOT’s TrafficWise website shows the highway is reduced to a single lane between 500 North and 700 North in Tipton County as a new bridge is built. It also shows two miles south of Kokomo, between W 600 North and W 500 South, construction work is underway through Nov. 29.

To Kokomo’s north, construction work is underway in both directions of travel between East Gano Street and West 550 North until Nov. 17. Lane width restrictions are in place.

For traffic and construction updates, call 1-800-261-ROAD (7623).


Howard County Highway Superintendent Ted Cain paved the last bit of unpaved public road in Howard County over a decade ago, and ever since, he’s been working on rotation, making sure every road in the county gets repaved once every nine years. In between, applications of chip seal ensure the roads stay in good shape.

This year, the county will spend about $1.2 million on repaving, contracting with E&B Paving, Anderson, for the actual repaving work, and using in-house labor to haul the asphalt. Cain said the county expects to spend close to $1 million on repaving, and between $150,000 and $200,000 on chip seal work.

The county typically gets the repaving out of the way before the chip seal starts, so Cain released his paving list this week, with the chip seal list coming later this summer.

The county also plans to bid out a contract this summer to replace the bridge which carries County Road 200 East over the Kokomo Creek, at a cost yet to be determined, Cain said.

Next year, the county will start work on two major road widening projects near the Touby Pike interchange on the new U.S. 31 bypass, with both Morgan Street and Touby Pike slated for additional lanes.

In all, the county is expected to pave about 25 miles of roadway this summer and to chip seal another 25 to 30 miles.

Howard County asphalt paving for 2013

Numbered roads listed are County Roads, unless otherwise indicated:

• 500 South: 1250 East to 1330 East

• 200 North: 1250 East to 1350 East

• Carter Street: Payton Street to Hammer Street

• 800 East: 200 North to 300 North

• 900 East: 100 North to 200 North

• 400 North: 500 East to 600 East

• Nancy Drive: All

• 400 East: Ind. 22 to 100 South

• Cassville Road: 550 North to 600 North

• Ida Drive: All

• 300 East: Ind. 26 to 500 South

• 400 East: Ind. 26 to 500 South

• Great Pumpkin Lane: Pumpkin Leaf Drive to Pumpkin Vine Drive

• 350 West: North Parkway to Mayfield Drive

• 600 West: 300 North to 400 North

• 450 North: 300 West to 400 West

• Four Mile Hill Drive: Spring Mill Road to West End

• 400 West: Ind. 26 to 500 South

• 520 West: 80 South to 100 South

• 100 South: 500 West to 520 West

• 00 North/South: Green Acres Drive to 900 West

• 900 West: 00 North/South to Ind. 22

• 300 North: 750 West to 800 West

• 300 North: 600 West to 650 West

• Green Acres Drive: Simmons Court to Lakeview Court

• 1180 West: 100 South to 200 South

• 1280 West: 250 South to the county line

• 150 South: 680 West to 750 West

• 775 West: Ind. 26 to Pauley Lane

• 650 West: Ind. 26 to 500 South


The edges of downtown Kokomo — including the banks of the Wildcat Creek — are receiving the city’s attention this summer, as more than $2 million is slated for streetscape and quality of life projects in the near downtown area.

The biggest of the projects will connect the city’s two main trails at a spot on the south side of the Wildcat, just next to the old Buckeye Street railroad trestle. The $1.2 million trailhead project is being complemented by a public/private partnership between local restaurateur Mike Lucas and the city, with the city obtaining an old property near the creek, and giving it to Lucas, who is spending big money turning it into a family restaurant.

Downtown streetscape work, already complete in the downtown core near the Howard County Courthouse, will spread to the perimeter of downtown, and the city is getting federal grant money to install 75 “Wayfarer” guidepost signs, to help newcomers and visitors navigate the community.

The streetscape work includes a new entrance to the old Memorial Gym swimming pool building. The pool is gone, replaced with what will be Indiana University Kokomo’s new home court for basketball and volleyball.

“It’s no different than what we’ve done in previous years,” Kokomo Mayor Greg Goodnight said Friday. “We’re trying to connect the community. The trailhead and the new bridge took care of the last bottleneck on the trails, and Apperson [Way and Superior Street] is one of the biggest tourist destinations, if you figure all of the people who come here for volleyball and basketball. You add in IUK, and that’s the reason for the cleanup.”

Apperson Way and Superior Street Streetscape Project

• Scope – Installing curb island, lighting, and landscaping on Apperson between Wildcat Creek and Union, Apperson between Jefferson and Madison, and Superior between Union and Purdum

• Bid - $397,147.21

• Timing – Apperson completed in May. Superior to be completed by Aug. 1

• Impacts – Closure of Superior between Union and Apperson in July

Jackson Street and LaFountain Street Reconstruction Project

• New curb and sidewalks on Jackson Street between Market and LaFountain

• Bid - $135,736.86

• Timing – Construction beginning in fall

• Impacts – Closure of Jackson Street between Market and LaFountain for approximately 3 weeks this fall

Downtown Streetscape Project (Jackson, Washington, Taylor, and Buckeye)

• New curb and sidewalks on Taylor and Jackson between Washington and Buckeye, and Washington and Buckeye between Taylor and Jackson

• Bid – Not bid yet

• Timing – August and September

• Impacts – Closures on all streets except Washington for a majority of the project. Also parking restrictions.

Downtown Trailhead Project

• New bridge and trail between Superior Street and Main Street, including a new pedestrian bridge over Wildcat Creek

• Bid - $1,214,032.36, awarded to Mohr Construction, a division of E&B Paving, Anderson

• Timing – Under Construction. Completion in July.

• Impacts - None

Industrial Heritage Trail Extension, Markland to downtown

• Extension of the trail between Markland and Wildcat Creek, including new crosswalks at King and Harrison

• Bid – Work performed in house

• Timing – Under construction. Completion in July.

• Impacts – None

Bus Shelter Installation Project

• 25 new bus shelters for the new bus routes

• Bid – Not bid yet

• Timing – Fall

• Impacts - None

Wayfinder Sign Installation Project

• Approximately 75 New wayfinding signs covering most of the city

• Bid - $467,000 (80 percent Federal Funds, 20 percent Local Funds)

• Timing – Fall

• Impacts – None

CSO41 Remediation Project

• Installation of a siphon and 42” diameter storm sewer to remediate CSO 41 at Purdum and Walnut

• Bid – Approximately $1.9 million, awarded to Atlas Excavating, West Lafayette

• Timing – Now

• Impacts – Purdum is closed between Walnut and Mulberry until early fall


The chip seal work is behind schedule in Tipton County, and highway officials are blaming the wet spring for the delay.

Highway foreman Jeff Sowders summed up the situation.

“We are running behind because of weather. We have had a lot of locations that were washed out by flooding that had to be fixed first before chip sealing. So the list will be added to on a regular basis,” Sowders said.

Chip seal work should begin in earnest in mid-July, and the county expects to spend about $600,000 on the work. County highway superintendent Bret Morris said the work won’t be contracted out, and almost all of the money will be spent on chip seal.

Chip Seal Projects:

• 400 West: 100 South to 600 South, 5 miles

• 300 South: 725 West to 900 West,  1.75 miles

• 25 South: Ind. 19 to Division Road, 1.5 miles

• 100 South: 300 West to U.S. 31, 3.5 miles

• 200 West: 300 South to 300 West, curves around to 300 West, 1.5 miles

• 650 North: 600 East to 700 East, 1 mile

• 550 East: 100 North to 400 North, 3 miles

• 650 North: 1000 West to 1150 West, 1.5 miles

• 50 South: U.S. 31 to 500 West, 1 mile.

Current Road Closures:

• 725 West between 350 South and 400 South for bridge rebuild.

• 200 East between 150 North and 200 East for small bridge rebuild.

• 600 North between Michael Lane and 700 West for Kokomo bypass project.


Tipton city engineer Wyatt Johnson said the city has budgeted about $200,000 for projects this year, but hopes to carry over some of that amount to next year’s planned work.

Intersection improvements at Market Road and Main Street and at Industrial Drive and Berryman Pike head up Johnson’s list.

“Trucks are cutting the corner on both intersections,” Johnson said. “The Market Road/Main Street intersection also has considerable subgrade failure. In both, the right turn radius for eastbound traffic will be increased.”

City of Tipton asphalt paving for 2013:

• 2 blocks of North Conde

• 100 block of South Independence

• 100 block of Poplar

• 2 1/2 blocks of Washington

• 2 blocks of North West Street

• 300 Block of Maple


Miami County Highway Superintendent Sam Waltz hopes to reopen Business U.S. 31 to through traffic around July 4, as the county and contractors IMI continue work on a $325,000 project to repave and rehab the main drag into Peru.

Waltz has two new dump trucks, costing $150,000 apiece, to haul material to and from the repaving machines. The hauling work is being done by county employees, while Greenfield-based IMI is doing the actual paving work.

Last year, the county used federal funds to completely reconstruct the road between Airport Road and U.S. 31, and the $2 million project also included a complete replacement of the road’s drainage systems. This time around, Waltz said, they wanted to move quicker, so the second half of the Business 31 project will simply patch places where the underlying concrete’s seams are widening, and replace the surface asphalt.

Waltz isn’t releasing his annual chip seal list yet, until he sees how much the highest priority roads will cost. The county also has plans to rehab the bridge over Little Pike Creek on Ellis Road, and to do work on Mexico Road. A possible joint project with the city of Peru to repave Blair Pike is also in discussion, Waltz said.


Peru Mayor Jim Walker keeps a master spreadsheet of all street projects planned for Peru this summer, detailed down to the length, width and estimated tonnage of asphalt. When anyone asks what streets Peru is doing, Walker is ready.

Peru got an early start on repaving this year, and Walker said the city only has about six streets left to do. The city is only doing street work this year, after doing an extensive rehabilitation/beautification of the downtown sidewalks last year.

E&B Paving, Anderson, is the city’s contractor for the street work, at a cost of $608,000.

City of Peru asphalt paving for 2013:

• East Canal: Broadway to Benton

• West 7th: Grant to Chestnut

• Blair Pike: 13th to Duke

• Water Canal to railroad tracks

• 9th Street: Ind. 19 to Elm

• Huntington: Canal to Ewing

• McKinstry: Ind. 19 to end

• Van Buren: East of Water to Ind.  19

• West 5th: Broadway to Hood

• Graham: Ind. 19 to Incineratory Hill Road

• Hood: Main to 8th

• Monroe: Ind. 19 to Water

• Adams: Ind. 19 to Water

• Wayne: Loveland to 9th Street

• Wayne: Bridge to 3rd

• Benton: Canal to Main

• Albert: Broadway to Oliver

• Brownell: Main to 7th

• Ruth: Adams to Washington

• Jackson: Water to Denver Pike

• Ewing: First Block east of Broadway

• East 6th: One block east of Broadway

• West 2nd: First block past Broadway

• Adams: Ruth to Smith

• East 5th: First block east of Broadway

• Euclid: Wayne to Water