Boonville begins early sidewalk work

Standard photo/Wyatt Squires

Workers from JBI Construction work to complete the curbs around Johnson Park. The sidewalk renovation is one of two early sidewalk projects that will be completed prior to the complete redo around the square that will take place in 2018.

While the bulk of the work is set to take place in 2018, Boonville is completing some early projects to revitalize the sidewalks around the square.

Boonville Mayor Charlie Wyatt said work on the sidewalks in front of Johnson park is rounding up and work will soon begin on the sidewalks in front of Harold Gunn Pavilion.

He said because of the traffic around those two locations during special events, the city wanted to complete the work on those areas earlier than next year.

Wyatt said the Indiana Department of Transportation is picking up 75 percent of the cost of the early work by allowing the city to consider the updates a part of an overall revitilization of Second Street. The early work on the sidewalks in front of Johnson Park will cost $59,600.

See Work/Page A2

"We thought it was the smart thing to do," he said. "We thought it would be foolish not to take advantage of that opportunity."

Wyatt said the early work sets the stage for the revitilization that will take place next year. The city has planned to partner with Warrick County officials to redo the sidewalks inside and outside the square.

Wyatt said the project will still include an agreement from Vectren to bury utilities while adding decorative lighting and will also include moving the retaining wall around the courthouse in three feet to alleviate traffic concerns.

"Everything ties in together," he said. "It'll just be a good look for the city."

Moving forward, Wyatt said the city is also working with INDOT to replace the traffic signals around the square to match the decorative period lighting that will be added with next year's project. He said the city and partners are working to make sure the overall project stays on target.

"Our goal is to be finished by Black Friday 2018," he said.

Wyatt said the hope is for the new look for the city to encourage members of the community to help continue the progress with their own properties. Overall, he said the updates will encourage more people to come to the city and to return after their initial visit.

"When someone else starts improving their home, business or the square, it's infectious," he said. "Everyone else says, 'Hey, maybe there's something I can do to make my home or business better.'"

Wyatt said he also has his eyes set further in the future. After the 2018 project passes, the city is looking to gain more grants to redo sidewalks a block outside the square.

"We appreciate Vectren, INDOT and the county officials working with the city to try to improve what's going on," he said.

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