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March 16, 2014

Highway dept. preps for rebuild

400 South to be repaved, widened; drainage to be improved.

The Cass County Highway Department is preparing for a multi-million-dollar road reconstruction project connecting two industrial thoroughfares near Clymers.

The project will consist of reconstructing the roughtly three and a half miles of 400 South between Ind. 25 and Ind. 29. It will take place through three to four phases and include new pavement, a wider road surface and drainage improvements.

Phase one will be the portion of 400 South from Ind. 25 to just east of 400 West, which includes the town of Clymers. It is estimated to cost about $2.2 million. The total project is estimated to cost about $10 million.

Funding for the improvements comes from a match grant from the Indiana Department of Transportation. Much of the highway department’s 20 percent contribution comes from state funds paid to the county through the relinquishment of roads after the completion of the new Ind. 25 Hoosier Heartland Highway.

Bid letting for the first phase is set for July 2015, with construction expected to start late in the year. Cass County Highway Superintendent Jeff Smith said a rough timeline for the project estimates the entire project concluding in 2018.

The improvements will require acquisitions for right-of-ways, but not houses.

“We have done our best to minimize any impact to properties coming through Clymers,” Smith said.

An informational meeting regarding the first phase of the project will be at 6 p.m. Wednesday at the Clymers/Clinton Township Fire Department on the corner of 400 West and 400 South in Clymers. Representatives from the highway department and Indianapolis-based CHA, the design firm hired for the project, will be there to present information and answer questions.

Smith said those present will do their best to answer all questions, but the fact that the project is partially federally funded limits how much the highway department can speak on the right-of-way acquisition, as those negotiations must be carried out by employees with the Indiana Department of Transportation.

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