Markland Pike reopens to traffic after storm repairs

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After heavy rains at the beginning of July caused severe damage and washouts, Markland Pike is now reopen to traffic.

Switzerland County Highway Department Interim Superintendent John Day said that Markland Pike officially reopened on Wednesday morning, and although the heavily-used road is back in business, travelers should still use caution.

“The bottom area of the road near Adkinson Hill that the water washed out has been fixed, but it hasn’t been paved at this time,” John Day said. “We would have had to keep it closed a while longer in order to get it paved, but I felt that the road is so important to the county, we needed to get it back open to traffic as soon as we could. With school going on and everything else.”

He added that he hopes that the area of the road will be paved later this fall. Until that time, drivers need to remain cautious when traveling that portion of the roadway.

The area of Melock Road, which also suffered extensive damage in the storm, has also been fixed.

Other areas of the road are still being worked on.

“This was the first phase of what we’re going to do,” John Day said. “I think the county is still working on getting something together to do on up the hill from Melock Road on up. The engineers are still working on something to try to satisfy everyone. There’s the Army Corps of Engineers and the Indiana Department of Environmental Management. They’re trying to work out something that everyone is happy with to go ahead and finish on up through there.”

But John Day feels that the areas causing the most concern have been addressed.

“Those two projects are done, what actually closed the road; it’s actually open from that,” he said. “Those were the reasons that the road was closed. These other ones on up the hill, it’s not a huge concern right now, but it’s something that we need to take care of.”

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The condition of Markland Pike was discussed at Monday’s meeting of the Switzerland County Commissioners.

At that time, John Day told the commissioners that the road would be open this week, and also brought a change order that added an additional $13,116 to the cost of the repairs over the original quote.

(Rosemary Bovard contributed to this report).