By the end of the year, most of the old roads on the southern half of River Ridge Commerce Center will be rebuilt, providing improved transportation links to current and future tenants.
The River Ridge Development Authority approved six contracts for design or construction of various roads during its monthly meeting Tuesday afternoon.
“With the existing improved roads, the roads that are under construction and the proposed roads for this year and early next year, we’ve got a good part of the park developed out now,” Marc Hildenbrand, River Ridge director of project management and utility operations, told the board. “This is moving us forward with our transportation corridors and access for all the developments here, so obviously this is going to be a very big year here for River Ridge.”
One of those road projects was the second and third phases of River Ridge’s portion of the heavy haul road, which will connect the Port of Indiana-Jeffersonville to the commerce center. River Ridge’s segment runs from Ind. 62 to the Interstate 265/Old Salem Road interchange.
The board approved a contract with E&B Paving Inc. for $3.37 million for both phases of the road from Hilton Drive — formerly International Drive — to Ind. 62.
The road will be open to traffic Oct. 1, Hildenbrand said. Officials with the Indiana Department of Transportation recently announced the state’s portion of the heavy haul road, from the I-265/Old Salem Road interchange to the Port, won’t open until 2020.
Executive Director Jerry Acy thanked Hildenbrand for his work on the project, particularly in keeping it under the budget set at $10.5 million.
“Just to remind everybody, the overall project, the budget has increased [to $33.4 million] since [the beginning], but the River Ridge project budget — and now the actual contracted prices — are just like this,” Acy said, referring to initial estimates.
The remaining five contracts marked another new round of road improvement projects, all designated to designing improved roadways.
International Drive, River Ridge Parkway, Paul Garrett Avenue, Salem Road and Trey Street will all be extended farther toward the Ohio River and away from Ind. 62 into the heart of the park. The total amount the board approved in contracts for those roads is $787,500.
Hildenbrand said all road projects except Paul Garrett Avenue — which will start in late 2016 or early 2017 to allow for detour routes amid construction — will be completed by the end of this year.
“That all depends on land sales going through,” he added, as land sale revenue will ultimately pay for the projects.
The rest of River Ridge north of Paul Garrett Avenue has yet to be developed, but Hildenbrand assured that’s to come in the future.
The board also authorized Acy to negotiate sale of an 84-acre parcel near Hilton Drive and International Drive for $70,000 an acre.
Acy said the confidential buyer is interested in building a 1.45 million-square-foot “distribution warehouse building.”
“Since we awarded all these contracts, we’ve got to generate some funds to pay for some of it,” Acy joked to the board.
This proposed facility is the third of more than 1 million square feet that the River Ridge board has possibly courted in the last four months.
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