FORTVILLE — At the most recent town council meeting, Steve Lindway of INDOT and Grant Abbott of Milestone Contractors spoke before answering frequently asked questions about the ongoing construction project on U.S. 36.
Before the two spoke, council-appointed president Toyna Davis said that, while the project has created some challenges, they are appreciative of the work that INDOT and Milestone has been doing.
“I think the benefits will outweigh the inconvenience of all of it,” Davis said. “Not to say there’s not going to be more rough patches and the weather may cause problems, but I think that moving forward, things will go smoothly.”
Abbott said that after the traffic switch that was to take place on Nov. 9, the first task they are completing is milling out pavement that will help allow better access to businesses. As time gets closer to the end of the year, Abbott said that the next step will be determining where all the utility locations are at and starting a waterline coming into the new year.
“Prior to that, we want to make sure that we’re in good clearance with utilities and we know where everything is at,” said Abbott at the meeting.
Abbott said, once the waterline is finished, they should transition into a storm pipe installation, and as spring comes they will begin working on subdrains into asphalt.
One question Abbott said was asked in regards to Garden Street and Broadway Street was if one could turn left. Abbot said with the two-way traffic switch that took place, Garden Street will be open for both left and right turns with Milestone and INDOT monitoring that area to make sure traffic will continue to flow.
According to INDOT’s handout at the meeting, traffic for 2024 will move to the south side of U.S. 36 with all side streets south of U.S. 36 open except for Maple Street.
A question about Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) crossing was brought to attention, however Abbott said that there was no safe way for an ADA crossing during Phase 1 of the project.
Abbott said there will be ADA crossing installed by Merrill Street during Phase 2, so pedestrians will have a way to cross U.S. 36.
Davis said that, moving forward, INDOT and Milestone will attend the first town council meeting every month to answer questions and provide updates on the construction process. In the meantime, residents with questions or comments can email [email protected] a week before the first meeting of the month to have any questions answered. Davis said that while they will respond to questions through the email, they will also be addressed at the meetings.
Lindway also let the public at the meeting know that he does frequently walk the job site, so if someone were to see him and have a question, then feel free to stop and ask.
“I’m open to talk to anybody,” Lindway said. “As a lot of questions come up and ask where the progress is at and what is going on, I’m going to answer. If I don’t have an answer, we’ll get you an answer and get back to you.”
A final reminder from Davis was that everyone driving needs to slow down and pay attention since the lanes are small, only being 10 feet wide. Another way to help traffic flow is to limit left turns going westbound.
“Be courteous. If somebody is trying to make a left hand turn, let them go. That will keep the traffic flowing,” Davis said. “There’s a lot of things we can do to make this easier, so hopefully everybody will try to be a courteous driver and let everybody get around without too much stress.”