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September 4, 2013

Utica Pike in Clark County to be closed for 90 days

Lancassange Creek bridge to be replaced

CLARK COUNTY — Drivers heading to Utica will need to find another route soon.

Repairs to a bridge over Lancassange Creek will close Utica Pike for about 90 days with an expected start date of Sept. 9. The road closure — the bridge is showing its age — is within the annexation limits of Jeffersonville but is a project under the control of Clark County.

The county controls the maintenance and repairs for the bridges throughout the county and the cost of the bridge repairs is being paid out of the county’s bridge fund.

Clark County Commissioner Rick Stephenson said the work should begin soon, in order for the road to be reopened by the holiday season.

He added that the county will be paying for the project itself, which will end up costing more as opposed to going the federal funding route. But available federal dollars and timeliness pose issues.

The cost of the project, if Clark County waited for federal funding through the Kentuckiana Regional Planning and Development Agency [KIDPA], would cost about $280,000. The price estimate is based on the estimated $1.3 million to $1.4 million price tag, with the county responsible for a 20 percent match of the funding.

However, Stephenson said he is unsure if the 20 percent match amount could be secured because of a lack of available federal transportation funding. And time is a factor.

“We don’t have a bridge that we can wait to repair,” he said.

He added that the funding, if secured through KIDPA, would not be available until 2017. By paying for the bridge repairs themselves, Clark County is expecting the cost estimate to total $300,000 to $350,000.

Bridge replacement work is expected to begin Sept. 9 if the county is able to secure its permits.

“One of the issues with the start date is waiting on IDEM (Indiana Department of Environmental Management) permits,” Stephenson said. “The only thing that may delay it is waiting on the permits.”

Once the work begins on the bridge the only noticeable change of the replacement bridge is that a center beam will be removed that is in the creek and acts as a center support to the bridge will be removed.

Detours will be in place that divert traffic from Utica Pike, onto Middle Road via Allison Lane and Port Road.

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The Rev. Eric Johnson, New Albany, is accompanied by Shea, right, and Sammy Taylor, both of Memphis, during the cross procession at the Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church's Good Friday service in New Albany on Friday afternoon.

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