May 14—Terre Haute will receive nearly $961,000 in Community Crossings matching grants that will support local road improvement projects.
The City Council on Thursday night approved appropriations to allow the city to receive the money from the Indiana Department of Transportation.
Community Crossings is part of Gov. Eric Holcomb's Next Level Roads program, a 20-year plan to enhance Indiana's highways and local roads by awarding communities grants for shovel-ready local road projects.
Terre Haute is required to provide 50% in local matching funds, while smaller communities are required to match 25%. Communities also have to submit an asset management plan for maintaining existing roads and bridges.
"The grant will support four major road improvement projects in the city," said Marcus Maurer, city staff engineer.
Among the projects are Locust Street from Third Street to 13th Street. As soon as this section is complete, the city will continue to focus on Locust Street from Eighth Street to Eighth Avenue.
Maurer said the city has an ordinance that prohibits closing down Locust and Eighth streets at the same time.
"This project will involve removal of the old Interurban railroad ties underneath the pavement," Maurer said. "This section has a really bad washboard effect, and the only way to get rid of it is to excavate down to the wood ties then remove them."
Maurer said the third and fourth projects are independent of the others and can happen concurrently. Those projects include improvements on Fruitridge Avenue from Maple Street to Fort Harrison Road and the section of Sixth Street from Hulman to Poplar streets.
Mayor Duke Bennett estimated the Community Crossings projects could be completed by mid- to late-summer.
"We reduced the 2021 paving budget in anticipation of revenue reductions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but now that the Motor Vehicle Highway and Local Road & Street revenues are back on track and we're receiving replacement revenue via the American Rescue Plan, we have additional funds to spend on street improvements," Mayor Duke Bennett told the council in a memo prior to the meeting.
In addition, the council voted to appropriate $250,000 from the current Local Road & Street cash balance into the Economic Development Income Tax revenue budget line item to reduce the burden on EDIT funds. The council also voted to appropriate $500,000 from the EDIT cash balance into the EDIT paving budget line item. These funds will be used on the following paving projects, which will be completed by the end of the year: — Inspection services for 2021 Community Crossings projects, estimated at $125,102 — Paving of First Street from Idaho Street to Margaret Avenue, estimated at $120,914 — Paving of Brown Avenue from Wabash Avenue to Dean Avenue, estimated at $183,664 — Street repairs on Brown Avenue (two sections) between College Avenue and Hulman Street, estimated at $10,000 — Widening and paving on Wallace Avenue from the bridge to Fruitridge Avenue, estimated at $60,000 — Joint repair on Fruitridge Avenue from Maple to the overpass at Locust Street, estimated at $5,000
In other business, Terre Haute City Council reviewed four tax abatements and found them all to be in compliance: — Sycamore Hotel Partners' Holiday Inn Express at the Indiana 46 and Interstate 70 corridor — Fox Hotel Partners' Home2 Suites at the Indiana 46 and I-70 corridor — NMP Properties' specialty dental office at 1107 Ohio Street — Priser Properties' combination warehouse and office space at 40 S. 10 1/2 Street
Michele Lawson can be reached 812-231-4232 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @TribStarMichele.