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$5 Million Oak Hill Rd. Overhaul Project Begins Thursday

Starting Thursday, thru traffic on Oak Hill Road in Evansville will be closed from the Pigeon Creek Bridge to Lynch Road. It's all part of what the City Engineer's office calls it's most extensive and expensive project of 2013.<br>
Starting Thursday, thru traffic on Oak Hill Road in Evansville will be closed from the Pigeon Creek Bridge to Lynch Road. It's all part of what the City Engineer's office calls it's most extensive and expensive project of 2013.

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Life is full of inconveniences like red lights, waiting in line and construction signs. But those inconveniences will lead to improvements on Oak Hill Road if you talk to City Engineer Pat Keepes.

"It's a complete reconstruction," Keepes said. "We're going to be tearing out the old pavement, constructing new pavement with dedicated bicycle lanes, curves, gutters, sidewalks and completely new drainage systems."

You could call it the Oak Hill Overhaul.

The $5 million transformation officially starts on Thursday with the closure of Oak Hill between the Pigeon Creek Bridge to Lynch Road. However, the prep work like the relocation of power lines has already started.

The city's contract with Ragle Inc. lasts through July 2014. The year-long project will bring traffic restrictions and lane closures to Oak Hill Rd. between Morgan Ave. and Lynch Rd.

That leaves dozens of people who live along Oak Hill stuck in the middle and stuck with detours to Highway 41 and Green River Rd.

"It's going to be an inconvenience," Keepes said. "We ask for folks patience. There's no easy way to do a project of this type."

Keepes can find that patience in a long-time resident like Don Siscel. After calling Oak Hill  home for nearly two decades, Siscel says it's about time.

"It will be worth it," Siscel said. "There are several people that ride bicycles. My neighbor does. I'm always afraid he's going to get killed on this road. He's a good guy and I don't want him to get hurt. Let's build a lane for him."

"The primary reason is [Oak Hill Rd] is one of a couple north-south corridors," Keepes said. "Most of the growth in Vanderburgh County has occurred to the north."

Siscel will soon trade the hum of cars driving by for the scraping and clanking sounds of construction. He will also lose part of his front yard. But as Siscel says, it's less yard he will have to mow.

"Things like that don't bother me," Siscel said. "I've got enough to worry about."

To keep tabs on the progress of the project, the City Engineer's office has created a website. It will be regularly updated as the project progresses. Click here to view the website.
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