|INDOT: First they gave us the ‘new’ 48, now they’re fixing 56 & 50 during Farmers Fair|
|Written by Erika Schmidt Russell|
|Wednesday, September 25, 2013 8:23 PM|
I think the Indiana Department of Transportation is trying to kill Aurora. First, they’ve had contractors fiddling around with “improving” Ind. 56 through town all spring and summer, and now they are paving U.S. 50 between Ind. 350 and Dutch Hollow Road, just in time for Farmers Fair.
Then again maybe it’s the contractor’s fault.
A little disclaimer, I live in Aurora city limits off of U.S. 50, so getting home and then back to the fair to take photos next week is going to be fun .
While local officials might not tell INDOT how ticked off they are out of fear of reprisals, I will. Sorry, Aurora officials, but this was the last straw.
I and other staffers here have received press releases about other work being done by INDOT in the Seymour District including
Notice no press release about the U.S. 50 work, even though U.S. 50 has more traffic between Aurora and Dillsboro, upwards of 20,000 vehicles per day, than Ind. 46 does between St. Leon and Batesville, with a top load of about 5,000 vehicles per day.
U.S. 50 also serves as the route for busses heading to/from South Dearborn middle and high schools, not to mention Aurora Elementary, from/to points west that’s a whole lot of traffic every morning and afternoon.
I really wonder if INDOT owns a calendar, has a telephone to call local officials or even looks at its own maps.
When it comes to the calendar, apparently the contractor awarded the bid for paving should know better.
The contractor is Paul H. Rohe Paving, Aurora. apparently they also were awarded a contract for work on Ind. 62.
The U.S. 50 job and the Ind. 62 job are supposed to be done by Nov. 15.
Apparently, Rohe flipped when it would start the jobs, so it didn’t interfere with the Shoot at Friendship. Brilliant guys, but there was a problem with your reasoning.
The National Muzzle Loading Riffle Association’s fall competition and the various goings on around it ended this past weekend, as in Sunday, Sept. 22.
So, Rohe, if you don’t own a calendar, you can check out the one we have online. It lists all kinds of local events.
INDOT, however, isn’t completely off the hook, because, this isn’t the first time folks have been blind sided by road work, or INDOT has ill-timed roadwork.
Several years ago INDOT sent notice to property owners about re-doing the I-74 overpass at St. Leon, without notifying county officials.
The excuse then was, “maybe it was left off the project list” INDOT handed out at a regional meeting held every spring about upcoming projects for the year. County officials, by the way, had attended the meeting.
Then there is INDOT’s lack of knowledge of its own roads. This is where I question whether it owns, or looks at its own, maps.
It posts detour signs that are only meant for semis and large trucks, certainly not passenger vehicles. All it takes is one or maybe two words modifiying the word detour - “Semi” detour or “Large Truck” detour.
And then there are the signs, or lack thereof, about closures and lane restrictions.
It would improve traffic flow, especially in a congested area such as the Ind. 56/350 and U.S. 50 intersection to notify drivers a lane is closed on U.S. 50 more than a few measly feet before the lane is closed.
The lane closure sign is even less helpful and more confusing because of the work being done on Ind. 56 in downtown Aurora.
One final oversight, perhaps THE most egregious of them all. INDOT did not have the courtesy to notify the Aurora Fire Department or the city’s emergency medical services or the utility department.
The paving severely restricts access to the fire house at Dutch Hollow Road and U.S. 50, not to mention the lack of clear signs and directional markers could mean an uptick in traffic accidents.
I don’t care who informs fire and EMS and utility workers, but someone HAS to in advance in every instance. Lives depend on it.
Perhaps we need no more reminder of INDOT’s incompetence than the wonderful “new” Ind. 48 from U.S. 50 up the hill toward the hospital, which every time it snows becomes impassable, not to mention parts of it are buckled more than a rack of belts at Wal-Mart.
I can’t wait to see how backed up traffic is when Farmers Fair starts Wednesday, Oct. 2, and the day of the parade should be a real treat.
Hopefully, INDOT will realize the error of its ways, and maybe, just maybe learn from its mistakes.
You missed a good time
The Victorian-themed Teddy Bear Tea is wonderful, and there’s good clean fun to be had. No, it’s not Dillsboro Homecoming or Fall Fest or Farmers Fair, but it’s not supposed to be.
And my hat is off to the various organizers and participants, from the Moores Hill-Sparta Township Fire & EMS (yes I’m related by marriage to the fire chief, but the department still deserves a good plug) to the various Carnegie Historic Landmark folks (I’m related to some of them to by marriage as well) to the town board, clerk and many, many others. Good work, and hopefully there will be a next year, and it will be better attended.
So mark the calendars folks, and look for a story about the Heritage Fest in September.
What’s the hurry?
Yes it’s jobs and a market for farmers to sell their wheat, and yes there is winter wheat grown in the region. On the surface the mill and related businesses sound pretty good, BUT, it’s been kind of hasty.
I had a little bird tell me Lawrenceburg, who gave a 10-county regional economic development grant to the Whitewater Mill project, didn’t know how fast they wanted to move forward until the same time as the newspaper got public notice of a plan commission meeting about the TIF - that was Wednesday, Sept. 11, for the notice.
I understand all the secrecy stuff, partially, but if we’re supposed to believe “market” forces are good for the average Joe “Six-Pack” Citizen for everything from wages (Right-to-Work) to the prices we pay for prescription drugs (and the requisite huge drug company profits) why can’t the same market forces be used in businesses coming to an area?
Haven’t we seen folks protesting about their hard earned dollars going to other people in the form of food stamps and Medicaid? These various “incentives” seem like the same thing to me.
The mural was the brainchild of Adam Gilliam, and he worked with several local teens and some adults to paint it. The teens did the design. Read all about it next week after the official unveiling this afternoon at 1:30 p.m.
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