Help on it’s way for Hope’s mangled town square

HOPE — Efforts will begin immediately after the Memorial Day weekend to begin restoring torn-up streets near the Hope Town Square back to normal.

Since the beginning of the year, trenches had been dug into several streets within the heart of the northeast Bartholomew County community to install new water mains.

In some cases, gravel and earth has been used to cover up the trenches while some streets have been temporarily closed from time to time.

But now that 90 percent of homes east of Main Street (State Road 9) have been connected to new water mains, crews from All Star Paving of Seymour will be brought in after the holiday weekend, said Steve Robertson, project manager for Strand Associates.

In addition, a subcontractor has been hired to mill out the trench lines a couple of hundred feet ahead of the paving crew, Robertson said.

“We’ll have blocks at a time shut down. But within 30 minutes after milling, it should be paved back in,” Robertson said of the weekday project.

While the paving will allow removal of gravel from streets and adjacent yards, the new blacktop won’t extend much more than a couple of feet outside the trenches, Robertson said.

But a complete repaving of entire streets will take place as the entire $3 million water system upgrade winds up in September, Robertson said.

Hope residents were advised that if inclement weather results in delays, paving crews may be brought in on Saturdays from 7 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Prior to the beginning of the project, almost half of the town’s water mains were 80 years old and deteriorating, which caused a large percentage of the water the town buys from Eastern Bartholomew Water Corp. to leak out of the system, Hope Utility Manager David Clouse said.

The extensive upgrade will replace about 25 percent of the town’s water distribution system, which should result in improved water pressure and increase reliability and service, Clouse said.

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Mark Webber is a reporter for The Republic. He can be reached at mwebber@therepublic.com or 812-379-5636.