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Construction on Upper Grand ready to start

By DARRELL SMITH - dsmith@newsexaminer.com

After workers begin removing asphalt a week from Monday, the Upper Grand Avenue sewer separation project should take just over six months to complete

Residents of the area on Grand Avenue between 24th and 30th streets had an opportunity to learn about that work Thursday during a meeting with the contractor and the inspector. Few took advantage of the meeting at the John H. Miller Community Center.

The project involves digging up the street so that storm water is not carried in the same lines that take wastewater to the sewage treatment plant. A separate storm water line must be installed. 

Work will begin at the intersection of Grand and 24th and move north to 30th, said Brad Colter, Connersville Utilities Superintendent.

Trees in the utility space between sidewalks and curbs have been removed in preparation for the project.

Oct. 5 is the project completion date, Jeremy Books, project manager for Butler, Fairman & Seufert project engineers, said. The contractor will be working 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. five days a week.

The intersection at 24th and Grand will be closed for two weeks to start the project, he said. The crew will first work on the east side, keeping the west lanes open.

“Once that is complete, it will be opened and then the west half of Grand Avenue will be closed,” he said. “Traffic will be on the east half and just one-way southbound. It will probably be around Aug. 1 to complete the west half and then we will flip it over and open the west half and have one lane of traffic open southbound while we work on the east half.”

Residents should have access to their driveways most of the time. A driveway will be closed when work is being done directly in front of it, Brooks said. Residents will get advance notice of driveway closure and the contractor will temporarily replace the concrete approach with stone until new concrete is poured.

When water services are replaced, the water will be cut off to individual residences for a couple hours, Scott Works, site superintendent for Dave O’Mara Contractor, said. Works will be onsite every day.

Drains will be installed to take care of excess water, Books said.

A final decision has not been made about where students from Grandview Elementary School will cross the street, he said. There will be a safe way for them to cross. Parents in vehicles will pick up children on the Iowa Avenue side of the school.

“We’ve met with the nursing home (Hickory Creek Healthcare),” Books said. “We will get people in and out of there and have looked at different options. We may pour half the driveway at a time and put some stone down so they can get in and out.”

Mail delivery and trash collection will be maintained, he said.

“We ask for your patience,” Books said. “It’s a construction zone, so safety is a major issue. There will be large equipment and open holes so we ask you to please not walk through the construction site. Children would like to play on those things but try to keep them away.”

Works asked motorists to take their time when entering the work zone and keep their eyes open.

Colter said a Facebook page for the project will be set up this week so the public can keep up with progress on the street and when closures of intersections.

The project has been in the design phase for about four years. Originally, the project included building a trunk line on 24th Street to the Whitewater River but that portion of the project has been removed.

Butler, Fairman & Seufert will provide inspection services. Chad Whitesel of BF&S will be the inspector, onsite everyday.