Attention Switzerland County residents: State Road 129 is about to receive another ‘face lift’.
The Indiana Department of Transportation has announced plans to close a 12 mile section of State Road 129 between State Road 56 and State Road 250 (Vevay to Pleasant) on or after Monday, April 12th. The closure is necessary for a full-depth pavement reclamation project in Switzerland County. Milestone Contractors, L.P. has been awarded the contract for the work.
INDOT says that full-depth reclamation is an in-place recycling method used for reconstruction of existing pavement. During the closure, crews will mill the roadway surface, till the sub-base, add stabilizer, and resurface the road.
State Road 129 is scheduled to remain closed through late September, with an official detour of State Road 56 to State Road 250.
Local access will be maintained for residents and businesses along this stretch of road. All other traffic should use the detour or another alternate route.
Even though workers will not be working on the entire 12-mile stretch at the same time, the entire section will be closed for the duration in order to keep commercial traffic out of the area.
“As of now (subject to change), the contractor plans to work from north to south (starting at Pleasant) with the full-depth reclamation project, Indiana Department of Transportation Seymour District public relations director Natalie Garrett said. “Patching will take place prior to that part of the project. The entire 12-mile stretch will be closed to through traffic, but local access will be maintained for residents and businesses. We have been in contact with schools and emergency services to be sure they are aware so routes, etc. can be adjusted as needed.”
The $11 million contract also includes asphalt resurface work on State Road 129 from State Road 250 to the south junction of State Road 62 in Ripley County (Pleasant to just south of Cross Plains) and curb ramp removal and replacement in Moorefield. This portion of the project will be completed under lane closures with flagging.
Motorists are reminded to slow down, use extra caution and drive distraction-free in and near construction zones. All work is weather-dependent and schedules are subject to change.
With an assurance that local residents will still have access in and out of their property during the work; and also cooperation to make sure that emergency vehicles and personnel will be able to access all parts of the area as needed; one big coordination for this project is making sure school buses can get in and out of the area between the time the project begins and the end of the school year; and again in the fall from when school opens and the project is completed in September.
INDOT says that contract with Milestone stipulates all work is to be completed by the end of September.
Switzerland County School Corporation Director of Transportation Cindy Welch said that she has already been working on plans to ensure students get to and from school in a safe and timely manner.
“They will probably let us cross over whenever they can, until they get to certain areas,” Welch said. “I’ve got mainly three to four buses that it will affect. I think some parents might have to meet us in certain areas when we get close to there. If we can get to the kids, I think they’re going to let us go ahead and go down as far as we can. Hopefully it won’t be too much of a burden for anyone. Bus #29 is the one that has so many students on it, particularly in Moorefield. We’re going to have to play it by ear to try and get the students.”
Welch said that the schools have not yet been in contact with parents of students living in the impacted area, but said that she will be calling parents soon to see what can be worked out.
School Superintendent Rod Hite said that one of the issues for the schools will be transporting students to and from the Southeastern Career Center in Versailles.
“The Career Center will have to detour coming back, because that’s in the afternoon,” Hite said. “That bus runs a route after school, so they’ll have to come in and turn around real quick and then run their bus route. That’s probably the closest, time wise, but really as a disruption, the rest of it we will be able to re-route, just like we did last year. At one point, between chip and seal, bridge replacement, and they moved things because of the Regatta, we had (state roads) 56, 156, 250, and 129 all being closed for a short period of time. We had to re-route all four with buses.”