DANVILLE — County officials look to be getting their wish for expedited funding on a crucial portion of the Ronald Reagan Parkway.

County Engineer John Ayers told County Commissioners at Tuesday's meeting that the Indianapolis Metropolitan Planning Organization has funds available to complete the parkway between County roads 100 South and 200 South for Fiscal Year 2012 instead of '14.

The meeting, which also included representatives from Avon, Plainfield, the Indiana Department of Transportation, and the Federal Highway Administration, was arranged amid concerns over traffic patterns on that area of the parkway.

The bridge over the CSX railyard in Avon is expected to open in about a year. Officials from Avon and Plainfield had expressed concerns that heavy trucks would begin using the bridge not knowing that the one-mile stretch between 100 South and 200 South is still incomplete. Until it's finished, the intersection at C.R. 100 South will be a T, making it difficult for larger trucks to navigate.

"The goal is to minimize the time between the opening of the bridge section and the opening of the next section," Ayers said. "There's still going to be a gap."

The earliest the county could start the letting process on 100 South/200 South would be May. But Ayers added that's optimistic and follows an aggressive schedule for right-of-way acquisition.

"We have several parcels to acquire," he said. "We're going to have to be ready to file eminent domain as quickly as possible."

Doing so follows INDOT procedure. Ayers stressed the county may still be able to reach agreements with affected landowners, of which there are only two or three.

Completion on that stretch is still not expected until mid-2013. That would leave a six-month gap between the opening of the CSX bridge and the portion between C.R. 100 South to C.R. 200 South.

"That's still better than 18 months to two years, which is what we were looking at with the original plan," Ayers said.

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