Cold weather prevents early opening of Cumberland Ave.

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) – Winter weather delayed an early opening of Cumberland Avenue for at least five months.

“The main thing they had to do was the thermoplastic pavement markings and we could not put those down because those are temperature sensitive,” Tippecanoe County Highway Department executive director Opal Kuhl said.

With multiple days well below zero, crews had to close the Cumberland Avenue project for the winter. Kuhl said with so much progress made in the fall, they were hoping to open the road earlier than expected to drivers.

“Towards the end of October or early part of November we thought we could get the road open, but we couldn’t because the temperature dropped and it didn’t come back up enough to put the markings down,” Kuhl said. “We even looked in to seeing if we could temporarily paint it and then do the markings in the spring, but again the temperature was too low for the paint too.”

Once the snow is gone and temperatures are steady this spring, Kuhl said crews will get back to work to open the new stretch of road on its original open date in mid-April.

Just a short drive east on Cumberland Avenue West Lafayette city engineer Dave Buck said crews are preparing for another project to improve the roadway.

“The intersection of Salisbury is going to be reconstructed and the whole roadway going east over to Soldiers Home will be reconstructed,” Buck said.

He said reconstructing the stretch of road that’s just shy of a mile long will cost about $4 million.

“We’ll be keeping the on-street parking,” Buck said. “There will be one travel lane in each direction. We’ll be keeping the boulevard, the big median in between the two travel lanes.”

Construction on the portion of road between Salisbury Street and Soldiers Home Road is expected to begin this summer.

There will be an open house for the public Wednesday evening at Cumberland Elementary starting at 5 p.m. Plans will be revealed for the project at that time.

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