Meijer store closer to reality

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) – Estimates for an eastside economic development project rose 20 percent – that’s according to Terre Haute’s airport director.

This project impacts the proposed Meijer Super Store that will be built at State Road 46 and New Margaret Avenue in Terre Haute.

If you’ve driven by the Meijer store location lately, you’ll notice some trees have been removed. The open lot is primed for construction.

However, getting power lines moved for this project has taken longer and will cost more than the airport board expected.

Perhaps as early as spring 2015, a new Meijer Super Store will occupy the northeast corner of New Margaret Avenue and State Road 46. Airport Director, Bill Foraker says the project is on schedule.

“I talked to the engineering people for Meijer,” said Foraker.  “They are very interested in getting started. You ought to see construction start out there in the next month or so.”

But like all projects this size, there’s a catch and it involves moving major power lines along the west side of the airport.

While the power lines already seem like they’re a pretty good distance away from the highway, in order for the Meijer project to move forward, the power lines need to be moved further back.

The airport provided this photo that best illustrates the project.  You see the diagonal path the power lines take today.  The proposed relocation of those lines can be seen to the right of where they are presently.

The original estimate for this project came in at $368 thousand, but the most recent estimate from duke energy exceeds $450 thousand.  It’s something that concerns the airport director and the board.

“We don’t have an unlimited checkbook to be able to write these kinds of checks.  That’s a lot of zeros,” said Foraker.

What Foraker means is the airport asked for a cap of $500 thousand, and Duke Energy refused.  Foraker also said Duke Energy projects typically come under estimations.

Duke Energy sent us a statement regarding the estimates provided for this project.  First, the company apologized for any miscommunication between itself and the board.  The scope of the project had been modified from its original design, which makes the project more expensive.

The company says this should have been communicated to the project’s stakeholders in a more timely manner.

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