All of Helmsburg and Clay Lick roads are set to be paved next year after Brown County received $1 million in Community Crossings grant funding through the Indiana Department of Transportation.
The news was announced on Nov. 3. The Town of Nashville also received $287,782.50. The town and county were two of 218 cities, towns and counties to receive a combined $101.9 million in state matching funds for local road projects, according to INDOT.
Representatives from the town, the three Brown County Commissioners and Highway Superintendent Mike Magner attended the grant award ceremony in Franklin last week.
The full lengths of both Helmsburg and Clay Lick roads will be paved next summer using the funding, totaling a little over 10 miles.
The town plans to pave sections of 14 different streets within its limits using the grant money, including Artist Drive from State Road 135 to Main Street; the west end of Franklin Street to Johnson Street; all of Pine Hills Drive from 135 North; and all of Wells Drive.
A total of 2.32 miles will be paved using the $287,782.50 in Community Crossings funding.
Town Administration Manager Phyllis Carr said last week that she expected paving in town to start next year and that when the projects go to bid the town will ask that all paving be done by Sept. 30, 2022.
Both grants require a match of 25 percent of the money awarded, up to $1 million.
Magner said that before the next commissioners meeting on Nov. 17 he will get the specifications for each paving project together and advertise them. Opening the bids for those project could happen by the final commissioners meeting of the year in December.
“Try to get those numbers locked down,” Magner said.
This is the fourth consecutive time the county has received $1 million in state grant funding to help pave roads here.
The last round of Community Crossings grant funding was used this year to pave all of Becks Grove Road from State Road 135 to the county line; Mt. Liberty Road from Bellsville Pike to Rinnie Seitz Road; and the southern end of Lick Creek Road south of Cottonwood Road to State Road 45.
Paving on those roads began later this year due to inclement weather, contractors not having enough employees to work or them being tied up with the I-69 project in Martinsville.
More paving is still to come this year after the commissioners awarded contracts for locally funded paving projects last month to three bidders: E&B Paving, All Star Paving and Dave O’Mara Contractors Inc.
The following roads are still set to be paved this year as weather allows: One mile of the Old State Road 46 “business loop” in Gnaw Bone; one mile of Old 46 from Nashville to the Brown County State Park; nearly a mile of Oak Grove Road off of Country Club Road; three miles of Bear Wallow Hill Road; over three miles of Four Mile Ridge Road; over two miles of Three Notch Road; and over one mile of Ford Ridge Road.
E&B Paving will pave the Old 46 loop in Gnaw Bone, Bear Wallow Hill and the Old 46 to the state park section.
All Star Paving was awarded Oak Grove, Three Notch and Ford Ridge roads.
Dave O’Mara Contractors Inc. will pave Four Mile Ridge Road.
Magner said on Nov. 3 that All Star had contacted him and let him know they planned to start their paving projects no later than Nov. 17, starting with the section of Oak Grove Road first.
He also said that E&B Paving had said they intended to get their entire contract done this year, too.
“As long as the ground is not frozen and we have sunny days like this it’s fine to pave,” Magner said on Nov. 3.
Last week, a representative with Dave O’Mara Contractors Inc. said paving would start on Four Mile Ridge Road next spring.
Magner said on Nov. 3 that the bridge on Grandview Road that goes over Salt Creek was now open to traffic. It had been closed since late August.
Commissioner President Jerry Pittman said that he had also received a request to have patching done on Grandview Road. Magner said that his crew had filled in about six holes on that road with more to go.
A bid for $338,485.20 from CLR Construction was accepted in May to reconstruct that bridge. It was to be closed up to a maximum of 75 days as crews installed new beams, a superstructure, decks and approaches.
The project was completed about 10 days ahead of schedule. Crews were out cleaning up the shoulders last week.
“October was a near record rainfall month,” Magner said.
“There were several days they worked in the rain to make it happen, so we appreciate our contractor.”
Magner said that now that traffic will be coming in over the bridge from the other side his crew will get down to that area to do more patching before winter. He also said his crew will patch Hurdle Road before winter.
The highway department’s page on the new county website at browncounty-in.gov now allows residents to report potholes and road hazards online.
That form can be found by going to the highway department’s page listed under “Departments” on the main page then the “Report a pothole or road hazard” link is on the left of the highway department’s page. Road updates are also posted to that page along with the road improvement plan for 2021-2023.
At the Nov. 3 meeting Magner said his department has a list of roads that need patched on a dry erase board.
“We’ve taken care of about 75 percent of the list already. We’re making headway on it,” he said.