Another $1.2 million will be pumped into improving Knox County's infrastructure after the county, Vincennes and Bicknell all received more funding Thursday through the state's latest round of Community Crossings Matching Grant awards.
Knox County received just under $385,000, and with the required 25% match, it's enough to move forward with repaving a 3.5-mile stretch of Old U.S. 50 beginning at the county line near Brenda Drive, through Fritchton and to new U.S. 50, according to county highway superintendent Benji Boyd,
Vincennes, too, received the full $438,000 it applied for, according to city engineer John Sprague, and combined with a full match — the amount of the match depends on an area's population — the city will move forward with a near $1 million reconstruction of Forbes Road near Benjamin Franklin High School, an area prone to flooding.
The project includes new asphalt but, perhaps more importantly, a redesign of the storm water drainage system there. As such, Vincennes Water Utilities will be putting up a significant portion of the equal match.
This award marks the fifth award from CCMG in recent years.
Both Sprague and Boyd say they will likely bid their projects by the end of the year but construction isn't likely to start until springtime.
Mayor Joe Yochum said he was thrilled to finally be able to help several residents living along Forbes Road who have repeatedly fought high waters in recent wet seasons.
“I'm excited that we got it all,” he said of the funds for which the city applied. “We're glad to see some drainage issues resolved out there.”
Boyd, too, said repaving that 3.5-mile stretch of old U.S. 50 has been near the top of his priority list for years; the county just lacked the funds to do it — until now.
“That is a very rough road,” he said. “We had to do a lot of patching on that road this fall.”
Bicknell received $411,375 during this latest CCMG grant round, enough, according to Mayor Thomas Estabrook, to do sections of 14 streets.
Included are portions of Noble Street, Illinois Street, West Ninth Street, East Eighth Street, West Fourth Street, Conway Boulevard, Pennsylvania Street, Chestnut Street, East Third Street, East Second Street, Coal Street, Short Street and Park Road.
“(The grant award) is definitely exciting for us,” Estabrook said. “We have received 100% of our funding request for the fourth year in a row.”
Bicknell officials used last year's funding to redo a large portion of Main Street, specifically Sixth Street to Indiana 67. That project included new surface, Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant curb ramps, drainage boxes, and new sidewalks.
In Vincennes, the city matched the $560,000 it received from CCMG last year and repaved several streets, a project that is still ongoing.
Sprague said he expects new asphalt to go down beginning the week of Oct. 28.
Those streets include two small streets off Kimmell Road, a portion of Bruceville Road, portions of Apple Lane, Mount Vernon Road, Raney Drive and Franklin Drive as well as the biggest package — $400,000 for streets on the city's south side, specifically LaPlante, Prairie, Wheeler and Bayou streets.
Portions of Parkinson, Mentor, Joice and Barnett streets are also included as are sections of Parke Street, Sugarloaf Place, College Drive as well as Hack, Manilla and Rousillion streets.