Mar. 24—A busy intersection at the east end of Terre Haute's Margaret Avenue overpass is slated to get a traffic signal by year's end.
The Terre Haute Board of Public Works and Safety on Monday approved a $66,900 contract with American Structurepoint to design a traffic signal at the intersection of 25th Street and Margaret Avenue.
"We will add protective left turn lanes with the traffic signal," said Josey Daugherty, a staff engineer for the city. "Margaret Avenue carries a lot more traffic now with the overpass and that intersection sees a heavier volume of traffic now. There is a lot of traffic movements there now that we think we need a signal."
Sanitary sewers and water lines were relocated at the intersection of 25th and Margaret Avenue in 2017 as part of an $8.6 million overpass, which was part of a larger $15.3 million upgrade of Margaret Avenue between 19th and 25th streets.
However, an intersection traffic signal was not included in that project, Daugherty said.
"It was something that we had planned to add later on. However, as part of the overpass project, we actually put in the conduit for a traffic signal in the future," Daugherty said of the intersection. "Now we just have to add the foundation, the signal poles and work out the [timing] of each [traffic] signal stretch for the protective left turns," Daugherty said.
As part of the study, "we are planning to conduct a traffic count in the next couple weeks" to determine volumes and traffic use patterns, the city engineer said.
"We hope to get designs by mid to late summer and bid this out [for construction] by late summer or early fall," Daugherty said, with the signal in use by the end of this year.
In another traffic improvement, the board approved a $320,430 contract with RQAW, an Indianapolis engineering firm, for design of improvements at 13th Street and Wabash Avenue. However, the city will pay only 20% of that cost at about $64,086.
"This is a federally funded project," Daugherty said. "It is going through Indiana Department of Transportation with an 80/20 split, so INDOT is paying 80% and the city 20%. The project will add new signals, protective left-turn lanes, and there are railroad ties under the intersection that we will remove like we did along Wabash Avenue. We will also widen the roadway somewhat to improve left-turn efficiency," he said.
"A lot of times you can get traffic backed up to Ohio Street on 13th Street, so this is trying to alleviate some of that congestion," Daugherty said. That project is not slated to go to a construction bid until 2024.
In other business, the board:
—Approved a $35,075 contract with Great Lakes Urban Forestry Management, of Michigan City, to inventory 8,000 trees and an estimated 500 spaces that contain stumps or are possible tree planting sites in the southern and western portions of the city. Funding is from a grant from the Indiana Department of Natural Resources. Inventory work is slated to start April 15 and be completed by May 5. The work also includes updating the city's 2010 Street Tree Management Plan, said Ana Maria Erazo Galeano, the city's urban forester.
—Approved extending outdoor seating in front of The Saratoga restaurant to include seating in front of a building at 425 Wabash Ave. that previously contained Aames Title as well as extend outdoor seating on 5th Street along the restaurant.
—Approved placing planter boxes in the city's right-of-way in the 12 Points business sector. The request was from the nonprofit 12 Points Revitalization Inc. Mark and Tiffany Baker said the association is working with the Vigo County School Corp. to provide 27 planter boxes designed and painted by Vigo County schools.
"It gets the entire county involved as every school in Vigo County will paint one and gives everyone a reason to come to 12 Points to come see what they did," Mark Baker told the board. "It will give a splash of color." The planters, in partnership with Vigo County career and technical education classes, are to be completed by the end of May.
Reporter Howard Greninger can be reached 812-231-4204 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow on Twitter@TribStarHoward.