Fortville’s streetscape project nears completion

New, wider sidewalks with bump-outs are part of an extensive improvement project along Main Street in Fortville. (Mitchell Kirk | Daily Reporter)

FORTVILLE — An extensive upgrade for much of Main Street is about three-fourths complete, and work is on schedule to substantially finish next month.

The project, which started earlier this spring, spans from just north of Broadway to Church Street and includes a repaved and repainted street; new sidewalks; bump-outs at intersections; crosswalks with ramps that comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act; new way-finding signs; new storm sewer inlets; and beautification enhancements like new streetlights, trees and plantings.

Joshua Scism of J.S. Held, which acquired Core Planning Strategies, the firm Fortville enlisted to lead the project, estimates work is about 75% complete.

“It looks excellent,” he said.

The bulk of the concrete work on Main Street’s east side between Pearl and Church streets is finished, as well as on the west side of Main Street between Church Street and the railroad tracks.

That leaves Main Street’s west side between the tracks and Pearl Street, along with between Pearl and Noel streets, which will consist of a raised speed table with removable bollards for blocking traffic from events that could be held there. It will abut an existing raised island of grass, pavers and trees.

The last of the project’s concrete work will be up to the right of way for CSX’s railroad crossing, which is not part of the improvements.

“That is exclusively the domain of CSX,” Scism said, adding the railroad will have a flagger working as that work is completed.

Trees and landscaping throughout the project area will be planted in the fall to avoid the late summer heat that would likely kill the plants.

Scism said the town has done an excellent job of advocating for as little of an impact as possible to Main Street businesses.

“We know that it’s heavy,” he said. “We’re trying to minimize where we can. Safety is the No. 1 protocol, followed closely by access to businesses. It has not been without incident, but E&B Paving, who’s … doing the work, has been outstanding in their response and face-to-face interaction with the public.”

Scism said the project remains on track for finishing in August.

Joe Renner, Fortville town manager, said the project is going well.

“It’s going to be a huge face lift for the town of Fortville,” he said.

Renner agreed it hasn’t been without incident, including the removal of all the streetlights long before the new ones were available. Construction lights powered by a generator are filling in during the interim. Renner said the new streetlights have been ordered but haven’t yet arrived.

“It could be a while before we see those,” he said.

Libby Wyatt, a Main Street business owner and Fortville Town Council member, noted how much wider and smoother the pathways are now.

“It’s different to walk down the sidewalk,” she said. “It’s just so comfortable to walk on now.”

Kathy Hamilton of Greenfield, who traveled to Fortville’s Main Street for dinner Tuesday night with her husband, Rob, spoke favorably of the new streetscape.

“It makes everything look cleaner, brighter,” she said.

[sc:pullout-title pullout-title=”At a glance” ][sc:pullout-text-begin]

Fortville Main Street improvements

  • Between just north of Broadway to Church Street
  • Repaved and repainted street
  • New sidewalks
  • Bump-outs at intersections
  • Crosswalks with ramps complying with Americans with Disabilities Act
  • New wayfinding signs
  • New storm sewer inlets
  • New streetlights
  • New trees
  • New plantings
  • Raised speed table with removable bollards between Pearl and Noel streets
  • Four-way stop at Staat Street
  • $2.5 million (80% state and federal funding)