News From Terre Haute, Indiana

March 13, 2013

Some 2013 Vigo County road projects already under way

Arthur Foulkes
The Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — A long line of trees have been felled and utilities are being moved for a widening of Indiana 42, which is the main roadway to the Terre Haute International Airport and the Indiana Air National Guard base to its east.

The major road project, being undertaken by the Indiana Department of Transportation, is part of a plan to improve Indiana 42 near the airport and also to improve the intersection of Indiana 42 and Chamberlain Street.

The intersection of Indiana 42 and Chamberlain Street is basically the entrance to the Indiana Air National Guard base in Terre Haute.

The work now starting is designed to improve that entrance, said Chuck Ennis, Terre Haute city engineer.

Meanwhile, the State of Indiana is also making intersection improvements on U.S. 41 South at Harlan Drive, where Honey Creek Township meets Linton Township, transportation officials said Tuesday.

All this work comes several weeks before local road crews are expected to begin this year’s road and street repair work for the City of Terre Haute and the Vigo County Highway Department. Asphalt and oil needed for repairs and repaving is not yet available, local officials said.

Wabash Avenue, one of the city’s most heavily-traveled streets, is set for more repaving work this summer. Last summer, the city re-paved Wabash from 13th to 25th streets. This year, Wabash will be repaved from 25th Street to Brown Avenue, Ennis said.

“We want to continue to try and make improvements on Wabash Avenue,” Ennis said. The city fully expects to find Terre Haute’s former interurban railbed under the road between 25th and Brown, he said, adding that the old roadbed, whose wooden ties have decade over the years, contributes to the “washboard” effect motorists experience on Wabash Avenue.

Another big roadway improvement project planned for this year involves the widening of Industrial Margaret Avenue on the city’s east side, Ennis said. “Industrial Margaret” is the name local officials have given the former Margaret Avenue just west of Indiana 46/U.S. 41. Industrial Margaret is going to be widened from Indiana 46/U.S. 41 to Sycamore Terrace Street near the east-side Walmart store, Ennis said. The City of Terre Haute also plans to repave Fort Harrison Road this year in front of the Plaza North shopping center, he said.

Meanwhile, outside the city limits, Vigo County officials have not yet decided which roadways are most in need of repair in 2013, said Dan Bennett, assistant superintendent of the county highway department. The county’s budget for such road work is $1.5 million this year and each of the county’s three commissioner’s is allotted $500,000 for roadwork in his or her district, Bennett explained.

This winter, county officials highlighted certain roads in need of repair, Bennett said. Those will be presented to the commissioners who will then make their own inspections by driving the roads, he said.

Some work that is certain for the county highway department this year will involved ditch and road repair work in Nevins Township, where the laying of new water lines is expected to cause damage to roads and ditches. “There will definitely need to be repairs done on that project,” Bennett said.

Reporter Arthur Foulkes can be reached at 812-231-4232 or arthur.foulkes@tribstar.com