The Vigo County Redevelopment Commission on Tuesday took the first step toward implementing $5 million in upgrades to the county’s industrial park.

The commission approved a resolution amending the Staples and Certainteed economic development areas to include street, rail and railroad crossing improvements and a water line extension.

The projects would mark the first major improvements in 20 years to the park at U.S. 41 and Harlan Drive. Several items were added to a list discussed last month, but officials stressed the work will not all be undertaken immediately.

Since 1999, the commission has accumulated nearly $3 million from tax increment finance districts in the park that generate about $716,000 per year in revenue that can be applied toward the projects. The next semi-annual disbursement is due in November.

“We’ve done our homework and this is how TIF districts work,” said Commission President Rick Burger. “It’s really neat that we can reinvest our money.”

The resolution calls for improvements to and reconstruction of heavy duty concrete on Industrial Drive,routine railroad maintenance to include leveling of track alignment, improvements to two rail crossings on Harlan Drive to include warning lights, resurfacing of Pfizer Drivel, widening and reconstruction of Harlan Drive, and intersection improvements at Harlan and Carlisle Street.

Those projects carrying a total estimated cost of $2.6 million were all included in the original list. The cost would increase if state officials require rail crossing gates.

The resolution adopted Tuesday adds installation of directional signage throughout the park, extension of a water line from Pfizer Drive to Harlan Road, reconstruction of a road connecting Building 606 Access Road to Carlisle Street, improvements to an access road between Industrial Drive and Advics Manufacturing, and concrete and asphalt improvements throughout the park.

Because of the park’s growth, traffic grows every year on Industrial Drive and on the rail line, said Steve Witt, president of Terre Haute Economic Development Corp.

He listed Industrial Drive as the top priority for improvements, followed by the railroad work and water line. He said the water project would help with fire protection and serve future park tenants.

The revised development plan must be approved by the Vigo County Area Planning Commission, likely in September, and by county commissioners before it returns to the Redevelopment Commission for a public hearing and final approval.

Dave Taylor can be reached at 812-231-4299 or Follow him on Twitter @TribStarDave.