ENGLEWOOD — The city’s ‘Gateway Beautification Project’ on Main Street at the Interstate 70 interchange is moving along with most of the work on the retaining walls completed.
“The project still has a little ways to go. Of course, none of the landscaping has been done,” said Englewood City Manager Eric Smith.
A few issues cropped up during the project requiring an increase of $50,000 in spending for the project. One issue was drainage coming off the interstate that was creating erosion in certain spots. The addition of limestone chunks from the edge of both sides of the highway down to the decorative retaining walls on the sides of the slopes helped increase costs.
Another issue was that most of the topsoil was gone after the highway widening project concluded.
“The other thing that happened was that when the highway widening project was performed the state left us with a gravel pit,” Smith stated. “There was almost no topsoil left whatsoever and it would have been impossible to grow any grass or other vegetation, so we had to haul in quite a bit of topsoil for a two inch layer in order for the grass to grow. The contractor (Outdoor Enterprise), which I can’t say enough about, is doing a marvelous job. They are easy to work with. They have another project going on somewhere, so we got a deal on most of the topsoil that was hauled in.”
Mayor Patricia Burnside stated that she has received many positive comments about the project from local residents.
Smith attended a ribbon cutting for the new fire station in the City of Brookville and said he was impressed with that project. While there he received many comments about Englewood’s beautification project.
“Brookville’s police chief and fire chief live in Englewood and they see the progress that is being made almost daily, and they stated that the project looks great,” Smith said. “My comment was that, when you have a plan on paper you never know exactly how it is going to turn out because it is hard to visualize. In this case, it has come together very nicely. We have to remember that this is the gateway to Englewood. It’s our front lawn and yes, we are spending some money but it is something that should last for at least the next 50 years.”
The project should conclude by the end of August or by September, according to Smith. The landscaping portion of the project will be handled by A. Brown & Sons Nursery. The project is being funded with tax dollars generated by the Main Street Tax Increment Financing District established in 2015. The increase in tax base generated by the new construction at the former Englewood Truck site that is now a shopping center with Aldi Foods, Dollar Tree and Petco among others, as well as out lots at Meijer, made this project possible.
Reach Ron Nunnari at 684-9124, via email Rnunnari@aimmediamidwest.com or on Twitter @Englewood_Ind