Warsaw’s Husky Trail project nears completion

The Husky Trail road construction project was scheduled to be completed by Friday, but recent rain has potentially slowed completion.

At the Warsaw Board of Public Works and Safety Wednesday, the board approved a pay application of $25,868.58 to A&Z Engineer LLC for the ongoing construction inspection for the project.

City Planner Jeremy Skinner said it’s one of the 80/20 Indiana Department of Transportation grant contracts so the city will pay out 100 percent but get 80 percent reimbursed by INDOT.

Mayor Joe Thallemer asked Skinner to report on how close the project is to being completed.

The project was divided into two parts. Phase I included construction of a roundabout on Husky Trail and extended from Martin’s Super Market to north of the North Pointe movie theater. It was completed in August.

RELATED:  Husky Trail Construction Begins 

Phase II completed extended construction to a point just north of Canterbury House Apartments. The project also includes curbs, sidewalks, gutters and street lights.

“They were supposed to be done by the end of this week, but they lost both Monday and Tuesday to rain,” Skinner said. “The road is done. All that is left is sidewalk and sod and striping.”

Thallemer said he went out Tuesday and looked at the street lights and they looked “fabulous. It really looks good.”

Thallemer suggested they expect to have a more definitive date for the completion by Friday.

RELATED: Date set for Phase II of Husky Trail project in Warsaw

Skinner also requested the board approve the contract with Selge Construction for the Buffalo Street project for $2,594,189.94 and a change order reducing that amount by $424,343.83. The board unanimously approved both.

The Buffalo Street project includes construction of a plaza near Center Lake, upgrade of the lights, curb, gutter and road along Buffalo Street. Dave Matthews, of Mishawaka, is developing housing along the street and a mixed-use structure at the former Indiana American Water Company building.

In explaining the change order, Skinner said, “As we were bidding the project, with all the construction that’s happening around the state, construction prices are 15 to 20 percent higher than what they have been, partly because we just don’t have the contractors out there to do the work. They have a lot of work on their plate, and more work keeps coming online. But one of the things we were trying to figure out was the timing on some of this, so it kind of worked out nicely for us.”

He said the change order would remove a brick alley portion of the project. “We’ll come back later and do it. But we’re moving that brick alley portion. We’ll be reconstructing Buffalo Street and all the underground utilities, but we won’t be doing brick alley until a later date,” he said.

In addition, Skinner reported he’s having Assistant Planner Justin Taylor work with Michiana Area Council of Governments (MACOG) on putting together a coalition to apply for an Environmental Protection Agency Brownfield Assessment Grant.

“The way the EPA grants work, they’re in two phases. The first phase is the assessment. You’d do assessments. Assuming we were awarded a grant, from the EPA for assessments, they would make you eligible to assess brownfield properties for what issues they may have. Once that assessment is done, then you can apply to the EPA’s brownfield grant for cleanup, but you have to do the assessment first,” Skinner explained.

He said the first phase then is to apply for an EPA grant for assessments.

“We’re doing it as a coalition because over the years, you have a better chance of getting the grants as a coalition than you would as an individual,” Skinner said, noting that Warsaw has applied for EPA grants in the past and not been awarded any. “So we’re hoping that by combining with MACOG, Marshall County, Elkhart County and Kosciusko County, we may have a better chance of getting those assessment grants,” Skinner said.

The sites within Warsaw being considered for the grant application are the Tinkey site, the Arnolt building and 2208 E. Durbin St. (lots 191-194, 197 to the west of the Gatke building). Kosciusko County will provide several sites to be considered for this application.

Thallemer said the city’s been involved in environmental situations in the past and are currently involved in some, and he understood funding was the difficult part in addressing them, so any opportunity the community had for assistance made sense.

The board approved the request to join the coalition.