Evansville crews aim to complete First Avenue construction by summer 2022

Evansville crews aim to complete First Avenue construction by summer 2022
Published: Mar. 30, 2022 at 11:43 PM CDT
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EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - Those who regularly drive along First Avenue in Evansville are probably wondering about what’s going on with all of the recent construction.

The good news is officials say all these obstacles on the road should be gone by summertime.

Evansville Water and Sewer Utility’s Lane Young says crews ran into some unexpected problems when they went underground, as most of what’s under there is over 100 years old.

He says the supply chain issues have caused some delays, and they’re waiting on some of those even still.

“It’s a good project for our city, so we’re ready for it in that regard that it gives us a better capacity and a better ability to serve our customers, and there’s also a quality of life where they are on that road, and plenty of us ride up and down that road right along with our customers,” Young said.

Construction on First Avenue impacts drivers, business owners and the student body of Ivy Tech Community College trying to get to school.

“It’s annoying,” said Ivy Tech student Nakeya Kendrick. “I’m ready for it to be over for sure.”

“Once I hit here I’m definitely rushing and I have more anxiety to get to my classes,” said student Holley Schmitt.

Students have to plan in advance for their commute there more than usual because construction slows traffic.

“Depending on what time my class is, I kind of have to think about if there’s going to be a lot of traffic, accounting for that,” Kendrick said. “I already live on the east side so it makes for a longer commute.”

“Whenever I’m leaving my house, I have to calculate if it’s a busy day, how long it’s actually going to take me to get here,” Schmitt said.

Students also have to plan around their commute to leave.

Some students will stay on campus to avoid First Avenue.

“I live all the way in Poseyville so I usually just stay here,” Schmitt said.

“Gas is high right now so I’m just going to stay over here because it’s a lot going on,” said Kendrick. “At one point in time, we couldn’t even park right here because they were doing the construction.”

Now after some delays with supplies and unexpected problems underground, crews plan to finish the project by June.

“I honestly didn’t believe it,” said Schmitt. “I’ve heard it a million times now and it looks like it’s gotten nowhere closer.”

Officials know drivers, and those students, are unhappy.

“I can understand their response,” said Young. “We’re doing our best. I appreciate their willingness to trust and verify.”

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