Every road in Linn Grove could be seeing improvements soon as the Highway Department opened bids and potential plans that go along with the project to the Board of Commissioners Tuesday morning. The project will utilize some of the Community Crossing Grant funds which were distributed to the county. The amount of upgraded roads will total about three and a half miles and will include some tile work. Additionally, Linn Grove Road and County Road West 700 South, the two streets that go into the area from State Road 116, will also see repairs.
Two separate bids were opened for the project, with each having the same specifics. Brooks Construction out of Fort Wayne sent in a bid with an offer of $864,372. Wayne Asphalt, which is also out of Fort Wayne, bid $976,445.80 for the project. The bids are being taken under advisement by the Commissioners and a recommendation will be brought forward at next week's meetings.
The repairs to the Linn Grove roads could cause some traffic inconveniences because of a separate road improvement being done by the State. Highway Superintendent Brad Yoder explained that the Indiana Department of Transportation is planning on replacing the bridge on State Road 218 that spans over the Wabash River. In creating a detour for this, the quickest adjustment would be to send the cars through Linn Grove. However, the excess amount of traffic could cause problems that could ruin the repairs. When Commissioner Steve Kuhn asked how long the bridge could be down, Yoder responded, “I was thinking a year.”
While the area can be made a “No Through Truck” zone to prevent a majority of the problem, Yoder explained while the legal detour for non-local trucks would keep most trucks on State Roads, that a large inconvenience could be caused for local trucks, specifically Berne Ready Mix since the bridge lies between their quarry and their shop. There was some question about whether or not being local exempts the trucks from the “No Through Truck” restrictions. Additionally, worries expand past the semi-trucks.
“The biggest problem with this is the cars,” stated Sheriff Mawhorr. “We can keep trucks out of Linn Grove very easily, but cars, we are not going to be able to keep out of there. People knowing Linn Grove can shoot through, come up 500 and get right back on .”
The Commissioners, Sheriff, and the Superintendent agreed that the matter requires further discussion. The next Board of Commissioners meeting will be Tuesday, February 14th at 11:00 a.m. following the monthly County Council meeting.