During the County Commissioners’ meeting on November 7th, County Highway Superintendent Jason Peters presented information on the availability of funding for local rural projects.

He presented two possible bridge projects for consideration. Bridge #88 on 12TH Road east of Olive Trail over the Yellow River and Bridge # 108 on 7th Road east of Jarrah over the Dausman Ditch were his recommendations. 

The Highway Superintendent also discussed a possible third submission.  He said with what is being planned with U.S. 31 and the limited access highway, the county needs to consider creating a truck route to help industries on the west side of 31 at Argos get access to the highway, Topp Industries, and ITAMCO.  His suggestion was to use Linden Road from State Road 10 to State Road 17 and also Linden from State Road 110 to State Road 10. 

Peters said in its current condition it would never last.  There are railroads, culvert pipes, double utilities in the right-of-way, and large trees on the west side, at 17th Road, there is a very dangerous hill that would have to be modified and of course, the need to purchase additional rights-of-way. 

The application process opened on November 1st and closes on December 2nd and the funding would be for projects in 2028.

Commissioner Mike Burroughs asked if INDOT and or MACOG looked at preliminary engineering on Linden and Peters said they’ve done engineering assessments on Linden from State Road 10 to State Road 17 and from State Road 17 to State Road 110.  He said the southern portion was astronomical explaining that the southern portion has a lot of hills to contend with. 

Commissioner Overmyer said the State Road 17 to State Road 10 will have some hurdles to cross with large utility poles to relocate, a house, and two major culverts to improve. Peters said he thought it was $1.5 million. 

After additional discussion, the commissioners motioned to submit all three projects to INDOT for the NOFA (Notice of Funding Availability) Funding and let them determine which one or ones they want to fund. The motion was approved by all three commissioners.

On November 14th the County Council heard the request from the Highway Department to apply for NOFA funding.  With additional numbers, Peters said the local match for the Linden Road improvement project would be $1.1 million. The estimated total cost is $5.6 million. 

For Bridge #88 on 12th Road, the local match is $900,000 and for Bridge #108 on 7th Road, it is $428,040.

In essence, the entire local match would for all three projects would be $2.5 million.  Partial funding for Linden Road would begin in 2023 and that amount is expected to be $151,600 if awarded.  The County Council unanimously voted to support all three projects.