Hobart buying rights of way for 61st Avenue project

2013-09-15T17:40:00Z 2013-10-24T15:38:46Z Hobart buying rights of way for 61st Avenue projectDeborah Laverty deborah.laverty@nwi.com, (219) 762-1397, ext. 2223 nwitimes.com

HOBART | The Board of Public Works will handle approval of ongoing right of way acquisitions for the third and final phase of 61st Avenue improvements.

The board last week agreed to handle future authorization of the 24 parcel purchases as City Attorney Anthony DeBonis recommended.

DeBonis said having the board handle parcel acquisitions would expedite the process instead of having the 61st Avenue Joint Governing Commission, which only meets periodically, handle them.

"All the properties are being appraised and offers made," said Jake Dammarell, project engineer.

Dammarel said the bid process was to have been finished in 2014, but was moved to early 2015, following a request by the Indiana Department of Transportation.

Once appraisals are accepted, the city must formally approve each transaction. City officials have given plenty of lead time because work on the final phase won't begin until spring 2015.

The third phase of the project begins at Arizona Street and continues through Ind. 51.

Included in phase three is a roundabout, which will be landscaped and act as a gateway to the city.

Plans include sidewalks on the north side of 61st Avenue, new decorative lighting and buried utilities around the intersection of 61st Avenue and Wisconsin.

The city has received a $9 million federal grant which will cover most of the third phase cost, Dammarell said.

Earlier estimates of the total cost of the project were $15.5 million.

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