City awaits funding for West First Street work


HUNTINGBURG — Engineering work on the most western part of First Street continues in Huntingburg while the city waits to hear about state funding.

Huntingburg has applied for Community Crossings funding to repair the most dire parts of First Street from Sycamore Street west to the city’s limit. But the state focus right now has been on dealing with the COVID-19 virus.

“With all that’s happening now, we’re in a holding pattern on that,” Street Superintendent Jason Stamm told the Huntingburg Board of Public Works and Safety Thursday morning.

Stamm has been talking to Project Engineer Clark Dietz, who has been in touch with the state about the grant funding. “They’re hoping to hear something in the first part of April on project awards,” Stamm said.

The drainage system along the street is one of the main concerns. On one side, there is no ditch. On the other side, the ditch is right at the edge of the road, and part of the asphalt is falling into the ditch, Stamm explained. Also, the road’s asphalt is in bad condition.

The plan is to get funding through the state’s Community Crossings program to repair the worst parts of the road, which is phase one. Phase two will be completing the whole span of the road. The city has applied for funding from the Federal Highway Administration for the second phase.

Clark Dietz has done some redesign recently on the project. Stamm and Mayor Denny Spinner noticed that some repair work that would be done first would have to be removed later for a permanent fix.

“We asked if there was a way to do that so that we can leave those fixes in as a permanent solution,” Stamm told the board.

The redesign work cost an extra $8,000. But that money will be recouped because the overall cost of the project will be lower than originally planned, Spinner said.

“It will reduce the cost of the project by more than that,” he said.

Stamm agreed. “It will reduce the overall cost of the project substantially,” he said.

The board approved the extra cost.

That section of First Street was a state highway decades ago. When State Road 64 was built, the street became a county road — called Old Road 64. When the city eventually annexed some of the area, the portion of Old Road 64 that was east of the new city limit was turned over to Huntingburg.

The road is used quite a bit, by people living on First Street and by drivers traveling west to reach the Holland area and southwest section of the county.

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