By Ken de la Bastide Kokomo Tribune
---- — Construction work is expected to start next May to add a turn lane from Lafountain Street to Washington Street and make Washington five lanes from Lincoln to Alto roads. The improvements aim to make the intersection safer and ease traffic congestion, said city engineer Carey Stranahan.
The Kokomo Board of Public Works & Safety approved a contract with GAI Consultants for engineering work and inspection at a cost of $83,000 and agreed to have the Indiana Department of Transportation advertise for bids.
Because federal funds are being used on the project, a construction engineer must be on site at all times. GAI did all the preliminary work on the project.
Construction is scheduled to start on May 14 and be completed by Oct. 30.
Stranahan said there will be a center turn lane constructed on Washington Street to make the route safer and to ease congestion.
Washington Street is already five lanes from Rainbow Drive to Alto Road. With several restaurants and businesses located on Washington Street from Lincoln Road to Rainbow Drive, traffic becomes congested when motorists want to make a left turn.
The project is expected to cost $850,000 with 90 percent of the funding being provided by federal and state government.
Stranahan said the city has not started the process to purchase the additional right-of-way that will be necessary to widen the streets.