JASPER — A project that will affect Jasper traffic for months on a stretch of more than 2 miles of roadway began earlier this week, and the city is sharing an online mapping tool to keep residents up-to-date on what exactly is going on around town.
The first phase of the city’s water supply and pressure improvement project commenced Monday on Sixth Street in Jasper. Work will ultimately replace approximately 13,000 linear feet of waterlines that are, on average, 80 years old. The project is expected to be complete in July 2019.
“We’re hoping that the web page we put up and the interactive mapping help people, too,” said Utilities General Manager Bud Hauersperger.
That in-depth map can be found on the main page of the City of Jasper’s website. It includes information on when each of the project’s three phases will begin and end and also includes section breakdowns highlighting lane closures that will take place during each respective phase and cross streets that will be affected by the work.
Currently, crews are working on a section of Sixth Street from in front of Central Green park to Clay Street. Sixth Street will remain open throughout the work, but traffic that would normally occupy the eastbound lane will move to the center turn lane during different sections of the work, and no left turns are allowed from either the eastbound or westbound lanes in affected areas.
The entire first phase — which will stretch from Clay Street to Bartley Street — is scheduled to wrap up on Friday, Nov. 30.
Phase 2 will take place on Newton Street from Second Street northward to around 15th Street, and Phase 3 will run on Newton Street from Matthew Avenue — which is located near the city’s water tower — to Lottes Drive, near 30th Street.
Detailed information regarding the second and third phases of the project is not currently available on the map, but the resource will be updated by the Jasper Engineering Department GIS Service as work pushes along.
In addition to replacing the waterline, the project’s scope also includes pressure testing, the chlorination of waterlines, service line installation and road repairs.
Total, the project will cost $4,629,745 and will be paid for with a $1.38 million U.S. Economic Development Administration grant and city utility funds.
Hauersperger said contractor Ragle Inc. of Newburgh has done a good job notifying residents along the route when to expect crews in the area, but the city wanted to provide information to the broader community and that’s when the map came into play.
The city previously opened quotes to outsource the community outreach portion of the project, but later opted to keep it in-house. The project’s interactive map design was spearheaded by Jasper GIS Technician Jeff Warren, who in the past, made a similar map for Jasper projects.
“It eliminates a lot of questioning and ‘What’s going on?’ type stuff,” Hauersperger said of the map. “People can go to our web page and just look it up for themselves.”
Notifications will be sent to the city’s big employers and media if a stretch of road should need to be shut down completely for an hour or so at a time, but Hauersperger said the hope is that that will be kept to a minimum.