West Market project gets go-ahead for 2018

Last Updated on April 13, 2016 by cassnetwork

A rough section of relinquished federal highway in Logansport will be rebuilt, with incentives to ensure that the project maintains as much access to west side businesses.

Mayor Dave Kitchell announced today that the section of West Market Street from the Market Street Bridge west to Heath Street will be completely rebuilt during the 2018 construction season. Kitchell said both he and Deputy Mayor Mercedes Brugh are working with the Indiana Department of Transportation, county officials and First Group Engineering to ensure that west side businesses will experience as little disruption as possible. The formal notice to proceed was issued to First Group this week.

“We want to minimize the impact this project will have on one of our prime business areas of the city,” Kitchell said. “We also are working to coordinate this project with the Market Street Bridge project.”

Engineers have determined the bridge potentially faces a complete replacement in 2018. Kitchell said if that happens, it is unlikely that thru traffic can be maintained to the west side during construction. The Logansport Board of Public Works and Safety has asked its engineering consultant, DLZ, to determine if the existing bridge can be rehabilitated at a reduced cost while maintaining direct access to the west side.

“I know our engineer, Jodi Coblentz, who formerly served as Cass County engineer, is very familiar with this type of bridge, and has been involved in previous rehabs,” Kitchell said. “I’m sure if the bridge can be repaired instead of being replaced, Jodi will be able to find a way to do it.”

Coblentz is credited with restoring a similar bridge over the Wabash River at Lewisburg. A portion of that bridge literally fell into the Wabash as the project was beginning. Its completion allows for more direct access to the Heartland for Lewisburg, which has no fire department or ambulance.

To support west side restaurants and gas stations that will be affected by the project, the city is exploring the installation of blue informational highway signs on the U.S. 35/U.S. 24 Bypass west of the city.

“Normally, this is an expense that businesses bear entirely, but I’m hopeful that we can use economic development funds to help these folks who don’t normally benefit from that kind of support.”

The mayor said there will be a meeting in the coming months to allow east end and downtown businesses to participate in a similar highway informational sign program with the city.

The West Market Street project was started last year after an engineering study determined the previous work done to rebuild the former section of U.S. 24 led to washboard conditions that currently exist. Kitchell said that portion of West Market will receive some paving improvements until the project begins in 2018.

SOURCE: News release from the Office of Logansport Mayor Dave Kitchell

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