Community Crossings

Mike Grant | Times Herald Construction crews work on a street in Washington as part of the Community Crossings program. Milestone Contractors are expected to wrap up work in Washington next week. A new round of projects was just announced by INDOT.

The State of Indiana will be sending millions of dollars to area cities, towns and counties as part of the Community Crossings grant funding. This is the second round for funding this year that state wide will provide nearly $100 million dollar for projects in 229 Indiana cities, towns and counties.

Two of the grants are headed to a couple of the smaller communities in Daviess County. Elnora landed a grant of $92,208. “We will utilize the grant money for town road improvement,” said Elnora Town Board member Jed Jerrels. “This is funding for phase two of road improvements, and we are looking forward to getting started hopefully early next spring.”

The small town of Cannelburg received a grant for $95,464.20. “We are tickled to death to get this,” said Cannelburg Town Board President Dale DeLong. “Our streets had not been paved for 15 years. This is the third grant we have received and when this is completed, we will have repaved all of our streets.”

The plan in Cannelburg is to repave CR 900E from U.S. 50 to CR 100N. “CR 900E is our last street in town to pave,” said DeLong. “Because so much of the traffic goes out into the county, the county has agreed to pick up half of the tab for the matching funds. It is fantastic that we can work together on this. We’ll probably try to get it done in the spring. It needs work, right now we are just patching the patches.”

“That is really great news for Elnora and Cannelburg,” said Daviess County Highway Supervisor Phil Cornelius. “It will be good to work with Cannelburg to get that piece of CR 900E improved.”

Sharing in match funding for the communities in the county is not unusual. When CR 650E in Montgomery was re-paved under a Community Crossings grant the county was involved in putting in the matching funds.

This time around neither Daviess County of Washington received grants. For the county, they had tapped out their eligibility. “You are capped at $1 million,” said Cornelius. “We received that amount in the spring.”

The money is going toward the repaving and improvement of CR 1000N from SR 57 in Plainville east to the Daviess-Martin County line. That $1.2 million project is being done by Milestone Contractors and is expected to start Wednesday. Officials expect the road to be closed for 1.5 miles each day as the work moves across one of most rural parts of the county right in the middle of harvest.

“We are going to ask people to be patient with them,” said Cornelius. “If they have a part of the road closed off it will only be for one day and then people can use it the following day. They will have flaggers to help with traffic.”

That project should take about nine days to complete the paving, depending on the weather, and then the contractor will come back and work on the approaches and shoulders.

Loogootee will be receiving one of the larger grants in the area. INDOT approved $763,531.50 for the Martin County community. “We are ecstatic with this news,” said Loogootee Mayor Noel Harty. “We had been turned down the last couple of times, so we couldn’t feel more blessed.”

Loogootee intends to work on two problems at once with its grant. One element will be the paving and the other will include fixing some surface drainage issues. “This will be in a number of locations in the city,” said Harty. “This will fix some very old problems.”

All of the projects approved in the area will require a 25% match. Loogootee will use some money from its storm water fund and motor vehicle highway fund to cover that cost. “Two or three more grants like this and we might be able to clear up all of those drainage problems,” said Harty.

Besides Loogootee, Martin County landed a Community Crossings grant for $574,429. That is the second Community Crossings grant approved for Martin County this year. “We’re really happy with that,” said Martin County Commissioner Paul George. “That’s about $800,000 this year.”

Martin County plans to replace a couple of bridges and fix a couple of roads with the latest funding. “This is a good way to spend our road dollars,” said George. “We have road projects planned out for the next couple of years. We just have to keep the financing coming.”

Neither Washington or Daviess County received Community Crossings money during this round of funding, but both are working on plans for applications next year.

“We are definitely going back in the spring,” said Cornelius. “I have a project in mind, but I need to run it by the commissioners first. It will probably be in the million-dollar range. I try to get as much money as possible to put on our roads. I hate to leave money on the table.”

“We did not apply this fall, but we probably will in the spring,” said Washington Mayor Joe Wellman. “We are working on a plan with our project engineers on the Business 50 project to try and leverage some Community Crossings grants. It would be good to be able to get the state to pick up even more on the cost of that project.”

In announcing the latest rounds of grants state officials pointed out that since its inception Community Crossings has provided $612 million for road projects around Indiana.

“High-quality local roads and bridges are an important part of our formula for attracting jobs, growing our economy, and building strong communities,” said Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb.

“Efficiently and safely moving people and commerce is vital to the quality of life and vitality of our communities,” added INDOT Commissioner Joe McGuinness. “INDOT is excited to partner with communities through this matching grant program to make infrastructure investments that contribute to the success of all Hoosier cities towns and counties.”

Other grant recipients in the area.

Bicknell $411,375

Bloomfield $189,236.25

Greene Co. $1,000,000

Huntingburg $134,899.50

Knox Co. $384,900

Linton $479,355.63

Petersburg $197,287.87

Pike Co. $434,356.74

Vincennes $438,362.50

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