FARMERSBURG, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV)– Millions of dollars of road improvements are slated to come to the Wabash Valley over the course of 2023.

The Indiana Department of Transportation announced the recipients in the first round of “Community Crossings” grants last week, and it included $1 million dollars for Vigo, Sullivan and Knox counties.

Kellie Streeter, President of the Knox County Commissioners, said the program has allowed them to expand the amount of improvements they can do each year.

“We have invested in road preservation and maintenance about two million dollars a year. When you add another million on top of that, that’s a third, that’s a huge impact overall of what we’re able to do, and it’s really changed the face of Knox County,” she said. 

This year, sections of Freelandville Road, Pine Bluff Road and Evans Road are set to receive work. However, it will still be several months before construction starts– Streeter said they still have to go through the bidding process, and she said it may be late fall or early spring of 2024 until anything gets done. 

In Sullivan County, a dozen roads are set to receive improvements. One of those is Leach Street– where local business Performance Marine resides. Owner James Sanders said he thinks this is a necessary upgrade to the area.

“It’s definitely a good thing,” he said. “It’s a heavily traveled street, there’s a lot of campers coming in through the park down the road, it’s pretty much the main thoroughfare, and some of the people in the park are from out of town, so this is the main road they really see of Sullivan.”

Sullivan County engineer Jerry Netherlain said he expects roadwork to begin sometime this summer. He provided a list of all the roads that will be worked on:

  • County Road W 850 N from County Road 300 W to State Road 63: 
  • Leach Street from the Sullivan City/County boundary which is 75 feet east of Stewart Street, then east to Foley Street: 
  • County Road N 150 E from County Road 50 N to County Road 75 N: 
  • County Road N 975 W from State Road 154 to County Road 900 W: 
  • County Road W 1050 S from County Road 300 W to County Road 450 W: 
  • County Road S 450 W from County Road 1050 S south along County Road 450 W 0.6 miles to the end of the existing asphalt: 
  • County Road E 750 S from S.R. 159 to 0.3 miles west of County Road 700 E at pavement break: 
  • County Road S 900 E (County Line Road) from State Road 159 south 0.6 miles to the end of the existing asphalt: 
  • County Road 800 E from State Road 48 to County Road 600 N: 
  • County Road E 600 N from County Road 800 E to County Road 825 E: 
  • County Road 600 E from State Road 54 to County Road 50 N: 
  • County Road S 350 E from State Route 54 to County Road 300 S 

Streeter believes this program has made communities around the state make a substantial number of improvements– one’s that wouldn’t be possible otherwise. 

“In the last four to five years, we’ve been able to invest so much more money and been able to maximize our dollars because we’re bidding these projects out together. We’ve been very lucky here, and we’re grateful,” she said. “It’s helped do more work than we could’ve done on our own, by far.”