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Indy firm to clean up tainted Terre Haute site

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The cleanup of a contaminated former industrial site in western Indiana is expected to begin after years of study.

Terre Haute officials this week awarded a $2.7 million contract to an Indianapolis company for the removal of soil to a depth of 10 feet on much of a 20-acre site where Terre Haute Coke and Carbon operated from 1926 until 1988.

"This is our first major step for redevelopment of the site and reclamation of the site," Pat Martin, city planner, told the Tribune-Star.

HIS Constructors Inc., which was hired for the first phase of the cleanup, had the second-lowest bid for the work, Martin said. The only lower bid did not include all the required documentation, he said.

The company's website says it is currently handling several remediation projects in Indiana and elsewhere in the Midwest.

Jim Nance, vice president of business development for HIS, said it wasn't yet clear when soil removal will begin at the Terre Haute site.

"This is our first major step for redevelopment of the site and reclamation of the site," Martin said.

City officials hope to eventually develop the site as an industrial park.

The cleanup is expected to involve the removal of at least 80,000 cubic yards of soil and to take about nine months to complete. The site is contaminated with arsenic, lead and other hazardous substances that officials said were byproducts from the production of coke, a hardened fuel formed by baking coal at high temperatures.

The city assumed ownership of the entire 52-acre property on the city's south side two years ago and officials hope it will become a commercial development area.
An additional 20-acre portion at the rear of the property, which also contains contaminants, will remain untouched until the city obtains money for future cleanup work, Martin said. Ten groundwater monitoring wells around the property have not found any of the pollutants moving from the site, he said.

The cleanup project will be paid as part of a $150 million bond issue by the city that includes money for a new $115 million wastewater treatment plant.
 

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  1. to mention the rest of Molly's experience- she served as Communications Director for the Indianapolis Department of Public Works and also did communications for the state. She's incredibly qualified for this role and has a real love for Indianapolis and Indiana. Best of luck to her!

  2. Shall we not demand the same scrutiny for law schools, med schools, heaven forbid, business schools, etc.? How many law school grads are servers? How many business start ups fail and how many business grads get low paying jobs because there are so few high paying positions available? Why does our legislature continue to demean public schools and give taxpayer dollars to charters and private schools, ($171 million last year), rather than investing in our community schools? We are on a course of disaster regarding our public school attitudes unless we change our thinking in a short time.

  3. I agree with the other reader's comment about the chunky tomato soup. I found myself wanting a breadstick to dip into it. It tasted more like a marinara sauce; I couldn't eat it as a soup. In general, I liked the place... but doubt that I'll frequent it once the novelty wears off.

  4. The Indiana toll road used to have some of the cleanest bathrooms you could find on the road. After the lease they went downhill quickly. While not the grossest you'll see, they hover a bit below average. Am not sure if this is indicative of the entire deal or merely a portion of it. But the goals of anyone taking over the lease will always be at odds. The fewer repairs they make, the more money they earn since they have a virtual monopoly on travel from Cleveland to Chicago. So they only comply to satisfy the rules. It's hard to hand public works over to private enterprise. The incentives are misaligned. In true competition, you'd have multiple roads, each build by different companies motivated to make theirs more attractive. Working to attract customers is very different than working to maximize profit on people who have no choice but to choose your road. Of course, we all know two roads would be even more ridiculous.

  5. The State is in a perfect position. The consortium overpaid for leasing the toll road. Good for the State. The money they paid is being used across the State to upgrade roads and bridges and employ people at at time most of the country is scrambling to fund basic repairs. Good for the State. Indiana taxpayers are no longer subsidizing the toll roads to the tune of millions a year as we had for the last 20 years because the legislature did not have the guts to raise tolls. Good for the State. If the consortium fails, they either find another operator, acceptable to the State, to buy them out or the road gets turned back over to the State and we keep the Billions. Good for the State. Pat Bauer is no longer the Majority or Minority Leader of the House. Good for the State. Anyway you look at this, the State received billions of dollars for an assett the taxpayers were subsidizing, the State does not have to pay to maintain the road for 70 years. I am having trouble seeing the downside.

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