Railroad overpass days away from opening

Brittney Lohmiller/The Herald
The railroad overpass in Huntingburg is nearing completion. 


HUNTINGBURG — The railroad overpass in Huntingburg is days away from opening.

Good weather conditions to pave 14th Street are the only delay.

“The key piece to go is the paving of 14th Street and the intersection at 14th and Chestnut,” Mayor Denny Spinner said Friday afternoon. “It’s at the point where paving could happen. It’s just dependent on the weather.”

A public dedication is scheduled for Nov. 14. “But we will be opening the road to traffic as soon as it is deemed complete by the street department and the contractor,” Spinner said. “It’s still an early-November open. But the exact date depends on weather conditions to allow paving on 14th Street.”

The overpass will go over the railroad tracks near 12th Street, just east of the Industrial Park, and have on its east side a walking path that will be part of the city’s Heritage Trail walking trail.

The Indiana Department of Transportation is covering 80 percent of the project’s $5.9 million cost; of the 20 percent left, Dubois County is covering 10 percent, up to $1 million, and the city is covering the other 10 percent. Construction on the overpass started in April 2017.

The overpass will address one of the biggest problems people driving through Huntingburg face: the railroad that runs through the middle of the city. When a train comes through, traffic on the streets that the tracks cross must wait until the train passes.

The city is covering the $311,000 cost to reconstruct the intersection of 14th and Chestnut streets, and the $113,000 cost to mill and pave 14th. Those projects have been submitted as part of the city’s application for Community Crossings funding. If approved, INDOT would cover 75 percent of the projects’ costs.

City officials anticipate 14th Street being used by drivers who use the new railroad overpass to avoid U.S. 231 if there is a train on the track, which is why it is vital for the paving work on 14th be done before the overpass is opened.

“It’s a more-than-one-day paving project,” Spinner said. “So we are going to have to have a couple of days of good weather to lay asphalt.”

But the overpass, which has been actively pursued for almost two decades, is close to opening.

“We’re looking at days now,” Spinner said. “We’re at days, not weeks now.”

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