Greenwood next year is installing guardrails around ponds bordering streets that pose dangers to motorists.
The city has been working for more than two years on a plan to install a total about 4,000 feet of metal guardrail at 13 rainwater collection ponds in the city to keep drivers safer.
The guardrails are the city’s response to the deaths of motorists who drove into Greenwood ponds over the past four years.
In 2011, Sgt. Herkimiah Wimbush, 36, of Greenwood drove into a pond near the intersection of Graham and Allen roads and died. He was a soldier stationed at Camp Atterbury.
Not long before that, two other drivers died in similar pond accidents in the city. Wimbush’s family sued the city this year because the pond where the man died didn’t have a guardrail.
In 2005, the city approved a rule requiring developers to build guardrails at rainwater collection ponds that are adjacent to streets, director of community development services Mark Richards said.
Most rainwater collection ponds dug in Greenwood before 2004 don’t have guardrails because they weren’t required.
Greenwood is paying for the guardrail work with a $204,660 federal grant and $22,740 in local property tax dollars.
City officials looked at aerial photos of roadside ponds and checked whether car accidents had occurred near them and chose 13 that most needed protective barriers, Richards said.
Installation of the guardrails won’t start until March or April and should take about four weeks, he said.
The guardrails will be placed near busy roads as well as by streets in subdivisions to prevent future accidents. A steel guardrail should stop a car from going into a pond, he said.
The city recently hired VS Engineering Inc. as project coordinator to work with the city, contractor and the Indiana Department of Transportation, which administers the federal dollars, on the project. That contract is for $20,400.
The transportation department will start accepting bids on the construction work Jan. 15, and the city will select the contractor later that month, Richards said. A project schedule will be set after the city hires the contractor. Richards declined to provide the cost of construction, saying the city will release the total after a contractor has been chosen.
The city of Greenwood is adding guardrails at rainwater collection ponds near streets to prevent motorists from driving into them. Here’s a look at where guardrails are going:
- At one pond on County Road 75W near the Southern Pines subdivision
- At two ponds north of Allen Road at University Park
- At one pond within the Southern Pines subdivision
- At one pond at the intersection of Allen and Graham roads in Precedent South
- At three rainwater collection ponds in the Greenwood Commons subdivision
- At one pond at the Worthsville and Averitt roads intersection
- At one pond at the intersection of Apryl Drive and Kimberly Lane
- At two ponds in the Crystal Lakes subdivision off Smith Valley Road