Huntingburg seeks federal funding to make road repairs

By CANDY NEAL
cneal@dcherald.com

HUNTINGBURG — The city is applying for federal funding to help repair First Street from Sycamore Street west to the city’s limit.

Officials are also planning to apply for state funding to repair the most dire parts of the road more quickly.

The Huntingburg Board of Public Works and Safety agreed on Thursday to send a financial commitment letter along with its funding application to the Federal Highway Administration. The letter states that the city is willing to contribute up to $408,910 for the repairs.

The letter and application is due this Friday, though it will take some time to actually get money from the administration.

Street Superintendent Jason Stamm talked to officials in August about the dire condition of the road. The drainage system along the road is one of the main concerns. One 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, he explained. The road’s asphalt is not in good condition either he said.

In completing the application, Mary Austin of engineering firm Clark Deitz explained the two options for repairs to the board Thursday. One is having concrete lined ditches to make an 18-inch gutter.

“It won’t be curbed or piped in,” she said. “And the existing ditch that is eroded will have a concrete liner in it. That will give you a shoulder, for more safety.”

The other option is to install stormwater underground “and having the shoulder be a true shoulder,” Austin said. “This is true curb and gutter. The stormwater would then be an enclosed pipe and will close in those ditches. You will have more of a shoulder in that case.”

Stamm and city officials will determine which option is best.

Repaving the eroded box culvert on the road near the city’s limit would also be included in the application for federal funding, she said.

The application to the Federal Highway Administration would be for phase two of the road work. The plan is to also get funding through the state’s Community Crossings program for phase one of the work.

“Whatever option you choose, we’re doing the same (kind of work0 for both phases,” Austin explained. “We’re taking these worse sections from that strip, which down in that valley, and doing that as phase 1, which is Community Crossings. Phase 2 will be completing that whole span.”

Austin said that she will come back to the board in January with paperwork for the Community Crossings funding.

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. Not only do people living on First use the street, but it's also used by drivers traveling west to reach the Holland area and southwest section of the county.




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