Officials with Vincennes Water Utilities are looking ahead to a pair of major upgrades.

Kirk Bouchie, the utility’s general manager, told members of the Utilities Service Board Wednesday during their regular monthly meeting that he has entered into talks with Midwest Engineering, Loogootee, about the infrastructure updates that will be necessary — or at least ideal — in regards to the second and third phases of a multi-year, multi-million dollar effort to improve Main Street, an effort being taken on by the city’s Redevelopment Commission.

Phase I, which was an overhaul of Main Street from 22nd Street out to Jamestown Apartments, was finished more than a year ago; the second two phases will take improvements all the way out to Richard Bauer Drive.

Phase II and III are likely to be taken on together in 2022, although the former is being paid for largely with a near $4 million state grant.

Bouchie said the utility’s focus will likely be in replacing some old asbestos cement pipe between Kimmell Road to just past Henry Sievers Road.

“We’ll want to replace that with iron,” he told the board, adding that the existing line, too, is “on the wrong side” of Main Street and will need to be moved over to connect into upgrades made as part of Phase I.

“It’s just going to make sense for us to get in there and get that done,” he said.

Bouchie didn’t yet report a possible cost to members of the USB, only that he is coordinating efforts with Midwest Engineering and the city.

That contract, he said, is likely to be let later this year with construction in the spring of 2022.

City officials and members of the Redevelopment Commission celebrated the competition of Main Street Phase I in the fall of 2019. That project included the addition of a left-hand turn lane onto Kimmell Road and improved storm-water drainage between Mantle Ditch and the U.S. 41 overpass, an area that is prone to flooding.

It also now boasts two, 12-foot driving lanes with additional sidewalks, bike lanes and lighting.

Phase II will pick up there and head out to Sievers Road and includes the redesign of the convoluted intersection with Felt King Road.

RDC members sold $5 million in bonds to pay for Phase I, but city officials received a federal grant to help pay for 80% of the estimated $4 million cost of Phase II.

They hope to also pursue Main Street Phase III, which would then take the project on out to George Rogers Clark Middle School at Richard Bauer Drive, also in 2022.

The RDC will likely have to foot the bill for the entirety of Phase III.

Also on the utility’s radar is an overhaul of a large portion of Washington Avenue coming up in 2023.

City officials announced two years ago that they’d been successful in securing a $5.7 million federal grant to pay for the long-awaited reconstruction of Washington Avenue from Emison Avenue near the Washington Learning Academy, owned by the Vincennes Community School Corp., north to Belle Crossing, which includes the area around Gregg Park.

Combined with a 20% match from the city itself, the project will result in a nearly $7 million improvement.

Washington Avenue Phase I — city officials do hope to eventually take on a second, southern-most section — will include a totally new road bed as well as curbs and gutters, bike lanes, new lighting, sidewalks, better storm water drainage and sanitary sewers.

But water line improvements, Bouchie said, should actually be minimal.

“Fortunately, we shouldn’t have a lot of conflicts as a result of that project,” he said, adding that there will, however, be some sewer work necessary.

The biggest part of that project, he said, will be in improving storm water drainage through that area, but much of that work will be covered by the grant.

“There will be some smaller changes to prepare for that road replacement,” he said, “but for the most part, it will with storm water, and that is covered by these kinds of grants where as other (water needs) are not.”

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