Paving downtown begins this week

The cones and barrels marking repaired curbs and ramps on Van Buren Street are moving to make way for more work this week.

Patching was to start Monday, March 28, Town Utility Coordinator Sean Cassiday said.

That will be followed around March 31 or April 1 by milling — scraping off a couple inches of old pavement — and then paving, he said.

Van Buren/State Road 135 will be paved from the 135/46 intersection to Ridgeway Drive.

Cassiday said the work is progressing ahead of schedule.

The Indiana Department of Transportation’s contractors have been replacing crumbling curbs and some sidewalks.

Cassiday said that sort of work is not quite finished; he believes contractors also will be removing the crosswalk across Van Buren at Franklin Street, because with the steps leading up to the street, it isn’t accessible under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Once the road is repaved, INDOT will be responsible for restriping it, including deciding where parking spaces go, Cassiday said.

Meanwhile, more projects are being discussed.

Cassiday said he’s received interest from several Van Buren and Main Street property owners who want to redo their sidewalks now that the curbs and road are being fixed. The town has a fund out of which it can help pay for sidewalk projects, depending on their cost.

Cassiday has been talking with Duke Energy about replacing the bulbs in existing street lights with LED lighting, he said. One new light may be going up at the former Family Fun Center at Washington and Van Buren, which is now the Nashville Christian Church’s annex.

Later, Cassiday said he also wants to look into grant funding to possibly add other sidewalks or crosswalks in the area of Schoolhouse Lane near where students often cross the highway to get lunch.

The town’s landscaping contractor, Todd Baker, also is working on a landscaping plan which may include redoing the railroad tie/stairs area in front of the Brown County Playhouse, Cassiday said. But that is not likely to happen in conjunction with the road repaving, he added.

INDOT is working to get the repaving done in time for the downtown Spring Blossom Parade on Saturday, May 7.

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Sara Clifford has been raising a family in Brown County since 2005 and leading the Brown County Democrat since late 2009. In addition to editor, she is the beat reporter for town government and writes columns, features and general news stories.