Fifth Street

This section of Fifth Street, specifically between Hart Street and College Avenue, will be repaved later this year after the city of Vincennes was awarded on Thursday just over $300,000 in state Community Crossings Matching Grant funds. In total, $2 million was awarded as part of this latest CCMG round to Knox County communities.

Nearly $2 million will soon flow into Knox County for even more infrastructure repair as part of the next round of funds from the state’s Community Crossings Matching Grant program.

Gov. Eric Holcomb on Thursday announced that 218 Indiana cities, towns and counties received a combined $100.2 million in state matching funds for local road projects.

The Community Crossings initiative has provided more than $931 million in state matching funds for local construction projects since 2016, including millions spent right here in Knox County.

As part of this latest round, Knox County will receive $1 million. Vincennes will receive $302,386 and Bicknell was awarded its biggest CCMG gift yet at just over $687,500.

Bicknell Mayor Thomas Estabrook said he was “over the moon.”

“This is not the outcome I expected, not when you hear that the state got $140 million in requests but only had $100 million to give out,” Estabrook said. “So I am, in fact, shocked beyond belief.”

Bicknell was denied any CCMG funds during the last round, so Estabrook came back with his biggest application to date. When combined with a local match, it will mean more than $900,000 in repairs.

He called it “unprecedented” and probably the biggest road project the city has taken on since the city’s network of streets was first built more than a century ago.

Nearly every section of town will see some kind of road improvement, he said, including areas around the public parks and many residential areas.

“When you do 15 streets and Bicknell is the size it is, you touch a lot of places,” he said.

Included in Bicknell’s project will be sections of Davis Lane, West Third Street, West Fourth Street, West Fifth Street, Thomas Street, Robert Drive, Martha Street, West First Street, West Tenth Street, East Sixth Street, Russell Drive, East Ninth Street and Cleveland Street.

Vincennes will soon finish up projects paid for by its last round of CCMG funds, specifically a portion of Reel Avenue, Upper 11th Street and Forbes Road.

With this latest award, city engineer John Sprague said they will look to repave sections of Overlook Drive as well as Fifth Street from Hart Street to College Avenue and from Willow to Vigo streets as well as Nicholas Street from Second to Sixth streets.

Also on the list this year will be 16th Street from Willow Street to Kavanaugh Avenue as well as Schwartzel Avenue from Second to Chestnut streets.

The city’s application was funded this time at 100%, Mayor Joe Yochum said, where as previous applications were cut by state officials.

For years they’ve had to play catch up, adding streets to the next application that were eliminated from the first. This award, Yochum said, will offer them a clean slate moving forward.

“I feel really good about that part,” the mayor said. “This time, we’ll be done with our list, caught up.

“And we appreciate any matching dollars we get from the state,” he said.

Sprague said his hope is to get the city’s bid package out within the next couple of weeks, and see those roads resurfaced — these CCMG projects also include the rehab of adjoining curbs and sidewalk ramps — by the end of the year.

The county’s $1 million will be spent repaving five sections of road, specifically two sections of Old U.S. 41 that will now complete the repaving of the entirety of Old U.S. 41.

Those sections are Old U.S. 41 South between U.S. 41 and Brookhaven Road as well as Old U.S. 41 North just north of Oaktown between U.S. 41 and the Sullivan County line.

Also included this time is Old Wheatland Road between Indiana 550 and Vincennes, Newell Road between Old Wheatland and Old Bruceville roads and Memering Road between Indiana 67 and Mine Road.

In an announcement made Thursday, Gov. Holcomb said.

“Superior transportation infrastructure — from interstates to local roads and everything connecting in between — make our communities safer attractive places to do business and create jobs.”

“Thriving communities, in turn, provide exceptional places for Hoosiers to call home and raise families,” he said. “With that in mind, I’m so pleased to invest and partner with local leaders to deliver on high-priority projects that keep Indiana moving forward.

Hoosier communities submitted applications for funding during a highly competitive call for projects held in January. Applications were evaluated based on need and current conditions and impacts to safety and economic development. Funding for Community Crossings comes from the state’s local road and bridge matching grant fund.

“Community Crossings is a major asset to Indiana cities, towns and counties as they build and modernize local roads and bridges,” said INDOT Commissioner Joe McGuinness. “The state’s funding partnership allows local partners to tackle larger scale project more quickly than would otherwise be possible, maximize their resources to complete more projects and achieve the best possible value for Hoosiers.”

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