The major overhaul of State Roads 56 and 156 through the main parts of Vevay has been delayed.
Originally set to begin this fall, officials from the Indiana Department of Transportation have now announced that the project has been delayed — and won’t commit to a new start date.
Sidney Neirmann, with the Indiana Department of Transportation’s Southeast District, confirmed the delay.
“The additional information regarding the project timeline will be provided at a later time,” Neirmann said. “But, the expected start of construction has been rescheduled.”
Neirmann confirmed that ‘rescheduled’ means delayed — the project is not going to start sooner than planned.
“Yes, it has been pushed back,” she said.
The project was originally planned for a fall of 2024 start date, with an expected completion date of late 2026. The project involved a complete rehabilitation of State Road 56 from west of Vevay near the OYO Vista subdivision and coming east to the intersection of highways 56 and 156 — Main and Ferry streets. The project would then proceed east to the Vevay Cemetery; and it would also include work running north and south on Ferry Street from near the entrance of Paul Ogle Riverfront Park to the Vevay Hill.
Neirmann said that she does not have a sense of when the new start date will be set by INDOT. She pledged to provide that start date when it is set.
The reason for the delay?
“INDOT is continuously evaluating its program and the condition of its assets,” Neirmann said. “And making adjustments accordingly to that. Weighing available resources and needs of the network. So, as a result of those adjustments, that is why the expected start of construction has been delayed.”
One of the early visible signs of the project has been the removal of the trees along Main and Ferry streets late last year.
Removing the trees so that new sidewalks could be created was in the plan — and that happened earlier than most thought it would.
Keith Smith of the Vevay Town Council said that the council members opted to go ahead and remove the trees because the root systems were causing issues with the sidewalks, and some store owners had issues with how the tree limbs blocked their storefront signage.
He also said that the council hoped that taking care of that element of the project for INDOT would allow the town to get some additional needed work from INDOT as the project went on.
Smith also said that the town council’s plan has been and will continue to be that foliage such as smaller, potted trees, will be placed along Main and Ferry streets for beautification purposes until the overall project is completed.
The large tree at the corner of Main and Ferry in front of the Vevay Swiss Inn is also scheduled to be removed by INDOT as a part of the project, but the tree is considered historic, so when it is taken out, a marker will be placed. That will most likely happen when the INDOT project comes back on line.