Pioneer construction on schedule; under budget

PLYMOUTH — The construction project to widen Pioneer Drive and cut back on Oak Road traffic which began in May 2010 is well on its way to completion, reported Ron Wireman from DLZ Engineering in the Marshall County Commissioners meeting Monday. The new Pioneer Drive will provide Marshall County residents with an easier route from Indiana 17 to the industries and retailers on U.S. 30.

“Last year we did basically half the project,” said Wireman, noting that S.R. 17 to Lincoln Highway is now open.

The rest of the road, including Jim Neu Drive, will remain closed until construction is complete Sept. 14. When completed, Pioneer Drive from Lincoln Highway to Miller Road right next to the LifePlex will have three lanes; two driving lanes and one center turn lane. Workers are currently placing pipes and removing peat to prepare for cutting ditches and placing additional fill on the roads.

“Due to extremely bad soil conditions, we are having to use two times the amount of sand material than what was originally planned for bridging,” said Wireman.

Although the project was originally estimated to be completed one to one-and-a-half months early, the additional work caused by bad soil will push the project back to the original completion date, Wireman said. Large amounts of rainfall are one condition that may affect the final outcome of time and money spent on the road. Wireman noted that the construction has been slightly delayed by record amounts of rainfall recently. The project was originally estimated to be $10,000 over budget, but is currently under budget because a section of road was discovered where no de-mucking was necessary.