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Funding issues stalling project starts

Sunday, August 17, 2008

The proposed detention pond and United States 40 project would help lessen the impact of flash floods like the one in June. However, funding issues has dramatically slowed progress on the projects. Times Staff File Photo. [Order this photo]
Two vital area projects are still on the back burner.

The proposed Pogue's Run Detention Pond, which was originally proposed after the floods of 1993, is being held up due to funding issues.

"The portion the City of Brazil has to pay is approximately $500,000, some of which has to be paid up front," City Engineer Brian Pohlar of Hannum, Wagle and Cline Engineering told The Brazil Times. "We are having trouble finding grants, and the one we have found so far would require us to conduct another income survey of a specific area of Brazil, which we are holding off on doing at this time."

Pohlar added that the easements and land necessary for the pond, which would be located between Murphy Avenue and Morris Holding Company, LLC, in the southeast portion of Brazil, have not been acquired yet either.

An additional storm sewer will also have to be designed to help floodwaters reach the pond.

"The pond would gather floodwater runoff and slowly release it through a pipe approximately 12 inches in diameter," he said. "Giving the water a slow release will help control flooding. There can still be spot flooding in some areas, but the major flooding should be better controlled."

The potential construction of the pond also controls the start date of the Indiana Department of Transportation's (INDOT) United States 40 Project.

"The original design of the project happened in 2000 or 2001 and it usually doesn't take this long," DLZ Indiana Project Manager Alan Mize said.

Mize told The Brazil Times that while the detention pond is a separate project, it needs to be completed for certain sections of the US 40 Project to be done.

The proposed project calls for improvements to US 40 stretching from County Road 225 W to Belle Street, and SR 340 from Waterworks Road to the intersection with US 40. The total length of the project is 2.945 miles.

INDOT conducted a public hearing on the project in April, and Mize said little has changed since then.

"The only changes have been minor," he said. "We have been working to shore up any right-of-way issues we have encountered."

Mize called the project a "pavement replacement," which will be done in phases and that other factors have contributed to the delay.

"We have to take into account the historic nature of Downtown Brazil," he said. "It will ultimately be up to the contractors as to how the work will be done, but we have to make sure the integrity of the area is maintained."

The City of Brazil will also play a major role in the project.

"Storm sewers have to be constructed and many of the utility and water lines under the pavement -- some of which are at least 50 years old -- will have to be either moved, relocated or replaced," Pohlar said. "Work on the water lines may be done at the same time as the construction, but a lot of those costs will fall back onto the city."

The project, which has an estimated cost of $26 million, will last approximately two years with much of the curbside parking disrupted during construction.

"They will basically shut down one side of the road, tear everything out and replace it," Pohlar said. "Traffic will be one lane each way during construction and there will be no parking along US 40 during that time."

Pohlar added that, at the end of construction, US 40 would be slightly wider to allow the possibility of having two lanes of traffic each way.

"It would be up to the city to make that decision," he said. "In cases where Interstate 70 has to be shut down, the city would have the ability to suspend parking to allow the added traffic to flow more freely."

At this time, the bidding process is scheduled to occur sometime in 2010, with construction to start in 2011.

"The major factor to get both projects going is funding," Pohlar said. "We need to get the funding for everything before we start working."

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I think you meant retention pond genius.

-- Posted by coltsbeer on Mon, Aug 18, 2008, at 5:33 PM

"while the detention pond is a separate project"

Considering the number of drug arrests in this county maybe they need a detention pond.

-- Posted by Matt Dillion on Mon, Aug 18, 2008, at 6:43 PM

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