Vigo County Commissioners will undertake more than $2 million in road work improvements this year, with nearly $1 million of that coming from Indiana's Community Crossings grant.

As with the city of Terre Haute, only one bid was submitted for the work with Vigo County.

Vigo County Engineer Larry Robbins on Monday told Vigo County Commissioners that only Indiana Department of Transportation-certified companies can bid on projects funded by the grant. Commissioner Judith Anderson said Wabash Valley Asphalt is the only such asphalt company in the area.

The $2,251,337 bid was 17 percent higher than Robbins' estimate of more than $1.9 million.

Most of the work will include 1 1/2 inch of asphalt overlay, but Robbins told commissioners the bid included other work, such as replacing road culverts, which are like small bridges, which drove up the price, as well as increased prices for asphalt.

For example, Commissioner Brendan Kearns said a culvert structure planned for Milner Avenue is large, about 19 1/2 feet wide and 6 1/2 feet tall.

"If anyone travels on Milner Avenue, which is where the Plumbers and Steamfitters (Local 157) is, there is a bridge that is to the east of that that does narrow in and has two concrete abutments, so that will be widened and made a lot safer," Kearns said. "We will also do culvert clean out work, so it is more than just laying asphalt and calling it a day."

Commissioners approved the bid.

The county plans work on the following roads: Sandford, Bowen, Eleana, Illinois, Lucerne, Bayh, Dallas and Milner, as well as on French Drive and Sullivan Place.

"There is about $265,000 of structure work included in this bid, but that always has a variable whether that work comes in higher or lower," Robbins said after the meeting with commissioners. "This is our test to see how that goes. For the next Community Crossings grant, we plan to take that out and pay for it locally to compare what is the better route to go," Robbins said.

The additional funding will come from the county's cumulative capital bridge fund, Robbins said. "It is a minor investment, in our opinion, to get $2 million work of road work," he said.

Vigo County it so receive $959,337 from the state grant, while the city of Terre Haute will receive $829,983. The county and city grants are 50/50 matching grants, requiring an equal match of state money with local money. It will allow the county to make nearly $2 million in road improvements and the city more than $1.6 million in road improvements.

The lone bid from Wabash Valley Asphalt to the city’s Board of Public Works and Safety was also approved Monday, from Wabash Valley Asphalt at $1,650,022, which was slightly less than the city engineer's estimate.

Reporter Howard Greninger can be reached 812-231-4204 or Follow on Twitter@TribStarHoward.

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