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Grand Ave. project starting April 1

Piles of saw dust can be seen along Grand Avenue between 24th and 30 streets in preparation fora reconstruction project that will start April 1. A community meeting to discuss the project is set for March 21.

By DARRELL SMITH - dsmith@newsexaminer.com

Construction begins on the long-planned Upper Grand Avenue reconstruction project April 1. No fooling.

The trees are already down for the nearly $2 million project that should take about seven months to complete.

Residents along Grand Avenue from 24th to 30th streets should have already received letters from the city announcing a community meeting to explain the project at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 21, at the John H. Miller Community Center, 2900 Park Road.

The work is mandated by federal requirements that call for separating sewage lines from rainwater runoff. Some other parts of the separation program have already been completed.

Half the street will remain open during entire construction project, Brad Colter, Connersville utilities superintendent, said. That’s because there are no alleys to provide access to homeowners from the rear of their properties in part of the project area.

The decision has been made to complete one side of the street all the way from 24th to 30th streets and then do the other side, moving north from 24th Street as the project is completed, Colter said.

“The first thing they will do is the intersection of 24th and Grand and get it opened back up so cross traffic can use it,” he said. “That should take about two weeks. Then they will start north on the west side of the street. That is the hardest part because the trunk line for the storm sewer is on that side.”

Traffic will be maintained on the street during construction and homeowners will have access to their driveways, he said. The contractor may close the driveways for short periods during the day but the inspector has promised to communicate closings in advance to residents.

Chad Whitesell of Butler, Fairman & Seufert civil engineers, will be inspecting the project and he believes in communicating with the residents and the city about the project, Colter said.

The project is scheduled to be completed by Oct. 31, he added.

Residents and other interested person are invited to attend the community meeting and ask the contractor questions and express concerns.

The project is part of the city’s required sewer separation project with 80 percent of the funding is from an Indiana Department of Transportation grant. Dave O’Mara Contractor Inc. has been awarded the contract for the project at a cost of $1,959,679.