Fourth Street redesign could start in January

Artistic rendering provided
Under the new design, businesses on Fourth Street in Huntingburg would have the option of using part of the sidewalk or the parking lane in front of their business for enhancements like seating.


HUNTINGBURG — The city now has a contractor who will redesign Fourth Street between Geiger and Jackson streets.

Milestone Contractors of Bloomington will do the work for $3,443,239; the engineer’s estimate for the project was $3,722,000.

The redesign includes the street having a driving lane and sidewalk; a lane situated between the two would be used optionally as a walking lane, parking area or space for outdoor uses by a business, like seating. Trees and planters would be placed in what is now the parking lane, leaving about three parking spaces between the planters. Businesses would have the option of using part of the sidewalk or the parking lane in front of their business for enhancements like seating.

The design incorporates part of the Heritage Trail, which is a walking and bicycle path that will ultimately connect the north and south ends of the city.

Milestone can start construction in January and work through the spring of 2020. But the street must be clear and open for November 2019’s Christmas Stroll.

Since the four bids received in October included various alternates, some of those alternates were put into play, said Ron Taylor of Indianapolis-based Taylor Siefker Williams Design Group. Those include using a permeable paving system, using cast-in-place curbs and removing some foundations for bollards. When those modifications were made using alternate bids, the low bidder came out to be Milestone, Taylor told the Huntingburg Common Council Tuesday.

The budget for the project is $3.3 million, Mayor Denny Spinner told the council. Two additional funding sources will get the city’s cost under that budget, he explained.

The Indiana Department of Transportation will refund the city $140,000 for the signal at U.S. 231 and Fourth Street that Milestone will remodel and upgrade, which INDOT was going to do when it upgrades U.S. 231 in 2020. Also, Huntingburg received a $200,000 grant from Radius Indiana’s Regional Impact Fund. Radius Indiana is a regional economic development partnership representing eight counties, including Dubois, in southern Indiana.

With that additional funding, the city’s cost for the project will be $3,093,239; the $200,000 left will be used for site inspections and as a contingency for the project, Spinner said.

After selecting the contractor, the common council entered into agreement with INDOT for the signal, and to construct pavers at the intersection of U.S. 231 and Fourth Street; the city will be responsible for the maintenance of the pavers.

This second round of bidding went better than the first round, which was done in February. At that time, only two bids were received — for $3.9 million and $4.2 million. Both bids were rejected and project engineers did research to make changes for the second bidding attempt. Those changes included adding more options, requesting unit-price bids instead of just lump-sum bids, requesting alternate bids and lengthening the construction period. Also, the city street department is taking care of the storm sewer work, which took that project out of the construction bid.

The second attempt resulted in the city receiving four bidders, who gave base bids ranging from $3.7 million to $4.2 million and several alternate bids.

The council also:

• Set a public hearing on the city’s application to the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority for the owner-occupied rehabilitation grant it plans to use for local homes. The public hearing will be at 7 p.m. Monday, Nov. 26 at City Hall, 508 E. Fourth St. The Southern Indiana Development Commission, local administrator of the program, will take applications from homeowners wanting to apply to have repairs made to their homes; that will be done from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday and from 4 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 20 at Teen Outback, 507 N. Main St. The Association of Latin Americans in Southern Indiana will provide translators for Spanish-speaking residents.

• Approved being part of the Indiana Department of Revenue’s tax debt collection program through the Association of Indiana Counties, to collect on outstanding unpaid utility bills from a debtor’s state tax refund.

• Approved a standard salary increase for 2019 of 1.5 percent for employees, with up to an additional percentage based on job performance and salary range.

• Established the city’s 2019 calendar and 2019 holidays city offices will be closed. With that approval, the council changed the time of its meetings to 5:30 p.m. on the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month.

• Heard an update on Dubois Strong activities from Ed Cole, president of the countywide economic development agency. He talked about the upcoming Agricultural Summit, the Tour of Opportunity event for eighth-graders and the workforce attraction campaign that is being done through social media. He also said that he is working with a local group of people to develop a plan and apply for a $250,000 Regional Initiatives Opportunities grant; the funding will come from the Lilly Endowment.

• Moved the next Huntingburg Common Council meeting to 7 p.m. Monday, Nov. 26, since Spinner will be out of town on Tuesday, Nov. 27.

• Was reminded that the official dedication and opening of the railroad overpass will be at 10 a.m. this morning at the intersection of Chestnut and 14th streets.

More on