The Town of Santa Claus is adding a new road to connect State Highway 162 with Highway 245.
Officials say the road, to be named Philip J. Koch Drive, is located approximately ½ mile west of Louis J .Koch Blvd and will allow residents an alternate route to avoid heavy traffic.

The new .33 of a mile road will incorporate a biking and hiking trail which connects to the existing trail system and will eventually connect to an additional trail to Lincoln State Parks.

The contract for the $1.3 million project was awarded to Ragel Construction of Newburgh in February of this year. Construction is anticipated to be completed in late fall to early winter. Utilizing federal grant money, the town’s construction cost on this project is $264,174.90.

The land for this project was donated to the town by the estate of Phillip Koch; that organization has also engaged a realtor and engineering company to market the property.

Town Council President John Bowen says the West Side Connector has been in the planning stages for several years. He says not only will it allow traffic an alternate route and an addition to the town trails, but officials expect new retail development in this area once the road is completed.

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