The target date to open the new Maple Street extension will be in early September.

Even though the blacktop is down for the road surface, workers are still working on the final touches that must be completed before the extension part of Maple Street will open for traffic, said Dave Hayward, executive director of public works/city engineer.

“Sometimes, even when the visible work is done, those last few details still take some time,” Hayward said.

The Maple Street project, which extends Maple Street to U.S. 31, was identified in a 2012 Safe Routes to School study as a needed improvement for students and families accessing four nearby schools — Columbus North High School, Northside Middle School, Schmitt Elementary and St. Bartholomew Catholic School. About 4,000 students attend those schools each day.

The project, estimated to cost nearly $440,000, was paid for with 80 percent federal funding, with the remainder — about $87,000 — picked up by the city, using money from its thoroughfare fund that is designated for street improvement projects.

The road extension, which amounted to about 500 feet of pavement, allows motorists to get to Maple Street turning right from U.S. 31 South, or to go the opposite direction turning right off Maple to U.S. 31.

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Julie McClure is assistant managing editor of The Republic. She can be reached at jmcclure@therepublic.com or (812) 379-5631.