The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Local News

November 28, 2012

Long-awaited Chase Street project gets under way

Project will honor late Bob Schuler

ANDERSON, Ind. — Chase Street between West 11th and West 10th streets is an undulating rutted mess that has cost drivers hubcaps and mufflers. Curbs and sidewalks are crumbling making them unsafe, according to a petition from the neighborhood to city officials.

Bob Schuler called it “one of the top five streets needing repair in the city of Anderson that has been on a waiting list for eight years,” the petition states.

Schuler, a member of the city’s Board of Public Works, retired engineer and former General Motors Corp. plant manager, died in a traffic accident in June. He was 74.

In part to honor Schuler’s memory and his years of service to Anderson, the city will begin rebuilding the road today when the water department begins installing new supply lines.

“It’s something he started and I’d like to see it get done,” said Roger Clark, a member of the Works Board. “This road has undergone a lot of repairs over the years,” which has contributed to its current condition. “We’re attempting to do a complete job and do it right.”

The city won’t be able to resurface the road entirely in paving bricks because there aren’t enough good ones left, but the street’s historic feel will be preserved with some modern conveniences, said city engineer Mike Spyers and street department director Brad Land.

Worked out in concert with historic preservationists, the center of the road with be asphalt, fringed with those paving bricks that can be salvaged. In addition, corners will be handicapped accessible, and utility lines for water and gas will be located under new sidewalks so that future repairs won’t require tearing up the road again.

“We tried to decide what was doable as far as maintaining the historic feel and still have a maintainable road,” Land said.

The process of replacing paving bricks is extremely costly because it’s labor intensive. When the city reached out to contractors to bid on the work — some estimates were as high as $90,000 — none were interested for that reason, Land said. “A lot of contractors didn’t want to mess with it.”

In an interview after Schuler’s death, Mayor Kevin Smith recalled that Schuler had an uncanny ability to overcome obstacles and problems, which is what officials think they accomplished with the Chase Street reconstruction.

“For a small street, it’s been a huge project,” Land said.

Barring unforeseen complications, officials said they expect the work to be completed in about a month.

Find Stu Hirsch on Facebook and @StuHirsch on Twitter, or call 640-4861.

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