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How about a few road construction updates?
Fourth/Teal/Poland Hill reopens on time. Grant Street delays mean changes for West Side High School. And more.
Thanks to the Long Center for the Performing Arts for sponsoring today’s edition. Long Center’s summer series at Loeb Stadium continues Thursday, Aug. 17, with country singer Scotty McCreery. Tickets on sale now, at www.longpac.org, the Long Center box office at 111 N. Sixth St. or by calling 765-742-5664.
PLENTY OF ROAD PROJECT UPDATES TODAY
How about a few road construction updates? There were plenty early this week, with some projects wrapping up, others aiming for through traffic by the end of the week and others … needing even more time.
SOUTH FOURTH STREET/TEAL ROAD/POLAND HILL ROAD
Old U.S. 231/South Fourth Street reopened Monday after the intersection as closed June 1 as part of the Indiana Department of Transportation’s Teal Road reconstruction project. Projected to reopen by Aug. 1, the work was done on time.
“Crews had to realign and reconstruct the intersection down to the subgrade in a short amount of time, which is no small feat,” Megan DeLucenay, a spokesperson for INDOT’s Crawfordsville district, said. “It took 12-plus-hour work days and weekend work to make this happen.”
The $15.6 million state project includes new sewer lines and reconstructing large sections of Teal Road, Old U.S. 231 and Indiana 25, from Old Romney Road to near South 30th Street. The full project is scheduled to be done by Sept. 30, 2024.
DeLucenay said crews will still be working near the South Fourth Street/Teal Road/Poland Hill Road intersection to finish sidewalks and driveways, and, once more utility work is done, patching and resurfacing the road.
GRANT STREET DELAYS SPILL INTO SCHOOL YEAR
A year ago, the West Lafayette Redevelopment Commission delayed the Grant Street portion of an $8.25 million Salisbury Street project rather than have the summer 2022 work spill into the school year and the reopening of West Lafayette Jr.-Sr. High School. The problem at the time was getting utility companies on site to move water, gas and other lines before road construction done.
The plan was: Wait until summer break 2023 and get it all done then.
On Tuesday, the city extended the closure on Grant Street until Sept. 22 for a stretch between Leslie Avenue and Salisbury Street. That is just north of the high school. The move still will allow short times before and after school for northbound traffic on Grant Street, from the high school to Salisbury Street, to allow buses to leave the high school lot. Those times will be 7:30-8:30 a.m. and 3:30-4 p.m. weekdays, once the school year starts Aug. 9.
Grant Street will be open to the high school from Meridian Street, from the south.
Ben Anderson, West Lafayette’s public works director, said utility company delays continued in 2023, once the school year ended in May. He said that had been an issue across the city and across the region, at a time of ramped-up construction still fueled by federal pandemic relief money.
“We’re, unfortunately, not the only show in the shed, as they say,” Anderson said. “These guys are busy. And we’re not alone in trying to get all this stuff done.”
Anderson said Grant Street could carry traffic. But he said that with so much work being done along the road, closing the street was the right thing to do for safety and speed for the rest of the project.
“That’s what we’re going to hear: It looks like a road, smells like a road, why can’t I drive it?” Anderson said. “There’s just too much going on there to have cars going through.”
EXPECTED BY THE END OF THE WEEK
Yeager Road: Anderson said a $2.7 million Yeager Road project in West Lafayette – which includes stormwater improvements, road widening, a 10-foot-wide asphalt trail, plus sidewalk work – is expected to re-open to two-lane traffic by the end of the week. As of Tuesday, Yeager Road was open to southbound traffic only between Sagamore Parkway and Cumberland Avenue.
Lindberg Road: A stretch between Salisbury Street and Northwestern Avenue, closed in late May, is expected to reopen to through traffic by the end of the week, Anderson said. He said there still will be plenty of work to do on the $3.2 million project. The work includes using existing city right-of-way to rebuild two travel lanes, plus a parking lane. It will add a five-foot-wide sidewalk on the south side of the road and a 10-foot-wide asphalt trail on the north side, connecting to the city’s trail system along Salisbury Street and Northwestern Avenue. The city also is making storm drainage improvements along that stretch.
Edgemont Street, which has been closed at West Lafayette’s Cherry Lane since spring, is expected to reopen by the end of the week, too, Anderson said. Purdue’s project to reshape a small section of Cherry Lane, bumping it to the north and adding a roundabout at the entrance to the Birck-Boilermaker Golf Complex to clear room for the new Pete Dye Clubhouse, is expected to be done by the time the university returns for classes in late-August, Anderson said.
STILL GOING …
Trail along Sagamore Parkway: Anderson said people should be able to use a new West Lafayette trail on the north side of Sagamore Parkway West by the end of September. The city approved the $4.9 million project earlier this year. A 10-foot-wide section of the West Lafayette trail is designed to run from Happy Hollow Road/Soldiers Home Road along the north side of Sagamore Parkway, eventually looping under the bridge spans and join the trail built along the eastbound lanes heading into Lafayette. There, the trail will connect with the Wabash Heritage Trail running along the river, connecting with downtown Lafayette and Battle Ground on the Lafayette side. The project also will connect with trails along Happy Hollow Road to the south and to the Nighthawk trail to the west, city officials have said. The trail in West Lafayette eventually will connect with a trailhead, with a parking area and canoe/kayak launch on the Wabash, along North River Road.
North River Road: West Lafayette closed River Road, from Dehart Street to Happy Hollow Road, earlier this year for the $13.9 million Dehart Combined Sewer Overflow Project. The project includes a 15-by-15-foot tunnel under River Road that is designed to collect and store 1.7 million gallons of stormwater during heavy rains to give the city’s wastewater treatment plant time to process sewage instead of having it overflow directly into the Wabash River. The road is expected to be closed into the fall. For detour maps and updates on the project, check: www.riverroadcso.com
OTHER READS …
With Indiana’s near-total ban on abortion on hold after some last-minute court action, Planned Parenthood announced Tuesday that its Indiana clinics have stopped providing abortion care. During a press conference Tuesday, Rebecca Gibron, CEO of Planned Parenthood Great Northwest, Hawai’i, Alaska, Indiana, Kentucky, said that its 11 health centers in Indiana would remain open but that the ones that offered abortion services – including one in Lafayette – wouldn’t continue to do so. Indianapolis Star reporter Shari Rudavsky had this breakdown: “Planned Parenthood, hospitals began Indiana abortion ban Tuesday. Here's how it works.” Indiana Capital Chronicle reporter Casey Smith had a look at the legal challenge that is holding up Indiana Supreme Court certification of its ruling that the abortion law, passed in August 2022, may stand: “Indiana’s near-total abortion isn’t going back into effect — yet.”
There were plenty places to get news on Tuesday’s indictment for former President Donald Trump on felony charges for working to overturn the results of the 2020 election and trying to “exploit the violence and chaos” of the Jan. 6 storming of the Capitol by calling lawmakers into the evening that day to delay the certification of Biden’s victory. Here were the basics, via AP reporters Eric Tucker and Michael Kunzelman: “Trump indicted for efforts to overturn 2020 election and block transfer of power.” Here accounts being updated into the evening Tuesday, via The New York Times (“Jan. 6 Riot Was ‘Fueled by Lies’ From Trump, Special Counsel Says.”); The Washington Post; The Independent (“Who is Jack Smith? The special prosecutor who just indicted Trump again.”); and Politico (“Pence on Trump’s indictment: ‘Anyone who puts himself over the Constitution should never be president.’”) For the full indictment, here’s a version via the AP.
WBAA reporter Ben Thorp had the news that biologists with the Indiana Department of Natural Resources had spotted a young hellbender, a large salamander, in an Indiana river for the first time since the 1980s. That’s big news, given that hellbenders are endangered species and indicators of healthy river systems. A team of Purdue researchers have been at the forefront of trying to save the population. Here’s a look at Thorp’s report: “Young hellbender sighting is good news for threatened Indiana salamander.”
Thanks, again, to the Long Center for the Performing Arts for sponsorship help with today’s issue. For a rundown of shows at Long Center and Loeb Stadium, go to www.longpac.org.
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