GREENSBURG — Bids for the first phase of the city’s Veteran’s Way road project have come in more than $2 million below the projected $7 million cost.
The Greensburg Redevelopment Commission opened three bids on Wednesday. Two were below $5 million, while the third was at about $7 million. The city initially had projected the project’s cost at more than $8 million, but a consultant revised that estimate down to about $7 million in March.
Veteran’s Way will connect U.S. 421 with State Road 3. It will run for most of its 1.1-mile stretch along what is now County Road 150N/Smith Road, parallel to Interstate 74. The road will have one 14-foot travel lane in each direction. The lanes will be separated by a center median that will make way for a center turn lane in certain areas. A pedestrian/bike trail will run alongside the road, mostly on its south.
The city will pay for construction with revenues from its Tax Increment Financing (TIF) district. TIF revenues usually are used for infrastructure improvements, such as road construction. TIF revenues are generated by property taxes on new development in a specific area (the TIF district.) The funds must be reinvested within that district. Municipalities use TIFs to try to encourage economic development. The goal is to expand the tax base and use some of that growth to improve the district to foster further growth. Once the TIF expires — usually after 25 or 30 years — all property in the district is taxed like any property outside of the district.
The commission on Wednesday took the Veteran’s Way bids under advisement and will let its attorney and engineer review the bids and make a recommendation at the next meeting. The low bid, $4.8 million, excluding two options totaling about $400,000, came from Dave O’Mara Contractor in North Vernon.