Jasper projects wrap up as winter approaches

Photos by Kaiti Sullivan/The Herald
Construction crews work on the sanitary sewer improvement project in Jasper on Tuesday. The new sewer line runs under the Patoka River near Third Avenue.


JASPER — Sidewalk and walking path enhancements, road improvements and a sanitary sewer line replacement — as the days grow shorter, city-led infrastructure projects are starting to wrap up.

Already complete is work that facilitated the replacement of various sidewalk stretches on Sixth Street and on Newton Street through 10th Street. That project began after Strassenfest in August and will continue north on Newton Street to 15th Street and possibly beyond in spring 2020.

The work addressed stretches of sidewalk that were broken and deemed hazardous to pedestrians. Jasper City Engineer Chad Hurm estimated parts of those sidewalks were 60 or 70 years old.

“Based on funding that we had for the project, we anticipated that 10th Street was gonna be about all we had funds to do,” he explained. “So that’s where we decided to stop. In addition, the timing’s getting to the point with the weather changing that it’s not the best time to do concrete work.”

He continued: “Next year, we anticipate to pick up at 10th Street and continue working north.”

In the near future, the Indiana Department of Transportation will address the pedestrian ramps at intersections along Newton Street. City crews will also address other damaged sidewalks throughout the city in the spring.

Construction crews work on the sanitary sewer improvement project in Jasper on Tuesday. The new sewer line runs under the Patoka River near Third Avenue.

“Some of those sidewalks were in pretty bad shape,” Hurm said of those that have already been restored. “We needed to replace them. So this was a good opportunity for us to get them replaced.”

On the south side, the replacement of a sanitary sewer force main that crosses the Patoka River will be completed within the next week or so. The old, 8-inch line fed into 12-inch lines on either side of the river, and Hurm explained the project saw the replacement of that 8-inch line with a 12-inch one to increase its capacity.

The line has been tested, and crews are now preparing to put it in service.

“This is a new line, it’s a heavier line,” Hurm said. “It’s bigger. So, from a maintenance standpoint, this is very long-term. We shouldn’t have to mess with this for a long time.”

A walking path project that saw the construction of a 1.4-mile pedestrian trail will also be finished soon. It will wrap up in the next three weeks, weather-permitting.

That new stretch of path will run from the north end of the Riverwalk at 15th Street to Kellerville Road, north to Cathy Lane, and along the south side of Cathy Lane to a point even with 23rd Street and the north side of Calumet Lake. It then runs west along 23rd Street to the west side of Mill Street, then north along Mill Street to property north of the Buffalo Trace Golf Course, which is also now home to a parking lot and trailhead.

“They’re doing a lot of paving and working on fences currently,” Hurm said of the ongoing work. “They’ve also been doing some seeding. But it’s just all over the trail.”

Last but not least, INDOT work that involves creating a turn lane and widening the intersection of State Road 56 and Kluemper Road will also be completed in the coming weeks. After a slow start, Hurm said the project is slated to be finalized around the second week of November.

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