Delay over for Warsaw’s Market Street reconstruction project

With a final bureaucratic holdup out of the way, Warsaw city officials hope to see the second phase of the Market Street reconstruction project begin this year.

The bulk of the project stretching from Bronson to Hickory streets, though, will likely occur in 2019, according to City Planner Jeremy Skinner.

The project was delayed for several months because the city could not secure a temporary right of way agreement for one of about a dozen properties because the property was in foreclosure, making it difficult to determine the owner.

However, the property at 1116 E. Market St. has been sold, allowing the city to reach agreement on the standard $500 fee with the owner.

The city’s Board of Public Works and Safety approved the agreement in a special meeting Thursday morning.

The temporary rights of way are needed so that crews can eventually ensure that existing driveways are adjusted to provide a smooth access onto the new road – a minor part of a $1.7 million project.

All of the other right of way agreements were reached several months ago, and the delay over one left officials frustrated.

“It was an unfortunate hiccup and a long process in getting this project started. Certainly unavoidable,” said Mayor Joe Thallemer.

Exactly how much work can begin this year remains unknown, Skinner said.

Skinner said they hope to seek bids for the work in July or August, but preparations involving the state and federal government could slow progress.

A start date also depends on the contractor, he said.

“There could be a possibility that they start this year, but there is no guarantee,” Skinner said.

The overall project  involves new asphalt, curb, sidewalks and lights. The first phase – to the east – was completed about two years ago.

A third phase is being considered for the portion of Market Street that passes through the downtown.