Two more sections of Jefferson Street will soon be under construction as work to rebuild the downtown Franklin street continues to move east.
Work is set to finish on the section of Jefferson Street currently under construction, between U.S. 31 and the gas station, within weeks. Then, construction will begin on phases three and four, which stretch from East Court Street to the railroad tracks.
Before that work begins, crews have been preparing the utilities and the city is reaching out to learn what questions and concerns residents, motorists and business owners are anticipating once the closure begins.
Franklin Mayor Steve Barnett said he wanted to work proactively to make sure the public knew the city was preparing for the closures and the issues the work could create, and he was going so far as to consider putting down outdoor grass where people will be walking to help keep down the dust and make the experience as best as possible.
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The three-year, $12.1 million project to rebuild Jefferson and King streets, from U.S. 31 to Eastview Drive, began last year. The work is being done in nine phases, and by the end of this year, the fourth phase is set to be complete.
The work includes rebuilding the road, but also adding new sidewalks and decorative features, such as lighting and landscaping, to the route seen as a gateway into the city from both U.S. 31 and Interstate 65.
City officials had long discussed rebuilding Jefferson and King streets, which are a main east-west route through Franklin. But that work got a boost when the city took over ownership of State Road 44, from I-65 to State Road 144, and also got about $12.9 million in funding to make repairs to the road from the Indiana Department of Transportation.
Road work was planned in sections to try to disrupt businesses the least, which city officials had been concerned wouldn’t be done if the state rebuilt the road.
Once work is done this year, construction will restart in the spring further east, with phases five and six including work on King Street from Middleton Drive to Eastview Drive, and on Jefferson Street, from the railroad crossing to Branigin Boulevard.
The city is planning a public meeting to discuss the next phases of construction on Jefferson Street.
What: Discussion on phases three and four, from East Court Street to the railroad tracks
When: 7 p.m. June 19
Where: City hall, 70 E. Monroe St.