Syracuse can now “push the play button” on three years’ worth of street paving, crack sealing and ADA-compliant sidewalk renovations, according to Doug Burgess, capital program management director for the Fort Wayne district of the Indiana Department of Transportation.
Burgess and Mark Ober, the district’s project manager, presented a certificate acknowledging a $352,688 state grant to city officials Thursday, Sept. 21, at Syracuse Town Hall.
The award is part of more than $150 million “awarded to Indiana cities, towns and counties through the Community Crossings grant program, which is now in its second year,” said State Rep. Dave Wolkins (R-Warsaw) in a Sept. 21 press release.
The grants were made possible by state legislation passed last year.
“The health of our local economy is directly impacted by our roads and bridges,” Wolkins said. “Having these grant funds directed to our local infrastructure will ensure needed projects can be completed and our communities can continue driving forward.”
Slated for milling and resurfacing are portions of Carroll, Front, High, Main, Maple Grove and Mill streets; and Harkless, Hunnicut, Kinder, Lynwood and Van Hemert drives.
Included for crack sealing are all of Algonquin, Allen, Bailey, Beach, Hiawatha, Hillview, Iroquois, Nokomis, Steel, Sycamore and Workman streets; Miami, Wawonaissa and Wenonah drives; and Lakeview Avenue.
Also to be sealed are Syracuse-Webster Road from Railroad Street to Wildwood Drive and East Frontage Road from Pickwick Drive to Bowser Road.
The Syracuse grant represents almost half of this year’s $797,587 dedicated to Kosciusko County.
“What was unique this time was it is only a 25 percent match by the town,” said Town Manager Henry DeJulia. “In the past it has been a 50/50 split.”
The town submitted its application in April 2017.
“We did a road inventory last year,” said Rob Merchant, the town’s public works superintendent. “We rated all our roads, marking all deficiencies and detailing the width, length, type of material and traffic flow for each road. We got estimates for the work and were fully funded for what we asked for.”
“I just signed papers with the engineering firm to survey the projects,” said DeJulia. “Then we will advertise for bids. We hope to have the bids awarded by the end of the year.”
The award is contingent upon INDOT receiving a “fully executed contract with a contractor or material supplier” by April 15, 2018, according to a Sept. 21 INDOT letter to Merchant.
The town is acting quickly because “you want to get on the contractor’s priority list as early as you can,” said Merchant.
With the town’s matching funds, the project will approach half a million dollars. Syracuse invests “about $150,000 a year” on road improvements, according to DeJulia, so the total amount represents about three years of budget allocations for such work.
DeJulia will attend a Tuesday, Oct. 17, meeting at the INDOT Fort Wayne district office to finalize details of the transfer of funds.
For more information, call DeJulia at (574) 457-3348 or Merchant at (574) 457-3229 or visit www.in.gov/indot.