Fifth Street Stellar Project improvements beginning

For The Republic

The last of the Stellar Project street improvements on Fifth Street in downtown North Vernon will begin Monday.

Fifth Street will be closed from the intersection of Madison and O&M Streets to the intersection of Hoosier and Fourth Streets. The work will include replacement of paving, curbs, sidewalks, the drainage system and landscaping.

After this week, only the stretch of Fifth Street from U.S. 50 (Walnut Street) to O&M streets will remain closed for extensive additional work.

“It’s a small area compared to the work that has already been completed, and I do not think it will take very long to complete,” said North Vernon Mayor Mike Ochs.

The Fifth Street work is among the final projects of The Stellar Community projects that have been ongoing in North Vernon since 2012. Other projects already completed include the Short Street Plaza, Irish Hill revitalization and downtown façade remodeling.

Funding for the project is provided by the Housing and Development Authority, the Community and Rural Affairs Department and the Indiana Department of Transportation. The Fifth Street project is expected to cost $798,595.

“There are a few other very small areas to be completed, but they will just take a few days, and we are scheduling the work to avoid causing traffic problems,” said Ochs, who added there will be two days of paving and painting work on Madison Street and a few small details to be completed on Short Street.

The paving work on Madison will begin Monday along with the remainder of the Fifth Street project, and the painting of Madison street will follow a few days after.

“We are doing our best to avoid closing more than one street at a time,” said Ochs, who suggested drivers might consider traveling down Main Street to Madison and up Hoosier Street to avoid the construction work on Fifth Street.