Ray Cooney – Editor
The Commercial Review
A contractor has been selected to repair Indiana 26 East.
Indiana Department of Transportation told Portland Mayor Randy Geesaman on Tuesday that it has selected Brooks Construction of Fort Wayne for the project that has been under consideration since 2001. The company had a bid of $4.24 million.
Geesaman said he hopes work can begin as soon as possible after a public meeting, which is scheduled for 6 p.m. March 31 at East Jay Middle School.
“This is a major thoroughfare, not only for Ohio, but for us locally,” the mayor said. “With all the traffic, to me it’s just an unsafe hazard that has been neglected way too long.”
The biggest part of the project is reconstruction of the road from Meridian Street to the bridge at the eastern edge of the city near Jay-Randolph Developmental Services. Sewer and water lines, which in some cases are more than 100 years old, will be replaced.
Also included in the work are new Americans with Disabilities Act compliant sidewalks and LED lighting.
INDOT is paying for the $2.7 million road reconstruction and is also contributing $500,000 toward the sewer work. Portland will be responsible for the rest of the cost, about $1.04 million.
Geesaman said he appreciates the work his city employees, engineering firm GAI Consultants and INDOT did to work together and save money on the project.
“I think we came up with a solution that is very cost effective but also is not changing any of the integrity of the entire project,” Geesaman said.