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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Progress stagnant on INDOT projects

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Alan Plunkett
During the past few months, not much has changed regarding anticipated construction start dates for the proposed United States 40 project through Brazil, according to Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) officials.

On Tuesday, INDOT Department Crawfordsville District Deputy Commissioner Alan Plunkett met with members of the Clay County Chamber of Commerce to discuss the project. Initial planning for the project began in 1996.

According to Plunkett, while the project has not been canceled, it has been "moved out."

"I have many projects in my district and one of the most important ones is this one," Plunkett said. "We are progressing very well. But the bigger (projects) are, the more complicated they are."

Due to financial constraints, having to run on an annual budget and the proposed $30 million project, Plunkett said it has been pushed back to 2013.

"It is a game," Plunkett said, referring to moving projects from one spot to another.

He said the design for the project is close to being finalized and at least one more public meeting will take place, but no time or date has been set.

"This is a real nice project," he said. "The design is about 80 percent done."

According to Plunkett, the current design has not changed much since the last public hearing for the project, which took place in April 2008. Construction on the project will take place between State Road 340 and County Road 100 E (Knightsville Road).

Several projects plans include the replacements of curbs, traffic signals, ramps, gutters, pavement, turn lanes, crosswalks and more.

"I think it will bring back the spirit in the community," Plunkett said.

He told the crowd Tuesday one major part of the project would be to help fix drainage along the road.

"We're hoping to fix those issues," Plunkett said.

Several residents and business owners at the meeting expressed concern regarding ongoing parking while the project was commencing.

"Parking will still be there, but it may be restricted," Plunkett said. "We've got to keep the traffic flow going."

In addition, he said the scope of the project adds up to at least two years of construction.

"I'd rather go a little slow and get it right," Plunkett said. "I know a lot of you have been waiting a long time for this. I see light at the end of the tunnel."

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Brazil can embrace the INDOT project as the much-needed improvement to our downtown district, or we can moan and groan about the temporary disruptions and incoveniences. The deteriorating streets, sidewalks, and curbs along US 40 will be gone, replaced with smooth blacktop, safer sidewalks, and well-defined curbs. The best part is that the cost to the city is minimal because it's a state project, not a city project.

I really think that Brazil is on the verge of great growth. We have a new water tower planned, a downtown revitalization project in the works, a fairly-new middle school, elementary schools undergoing remodeling, and a proposed inland port at the Vigo-Clay county line. These are all improvements that together make Brazil a better place to live and work for current businesses and residents and more attractive to future businesses and residents.

-- Posted by JHeffner on Wed, Feb 24, 2010, at 11:17 PM

I know what he meant by the comment, '"I think it will bring back the spirit in the community," Plunkett said'. If, however, you stood on US 40 yesterday to support the family of Cpl. Stultz, then you know that this community has A LOT of spirit. In fact, we might have more than we gave ourselves credit for.

-- Posted by brazilian on Thu, Feb 25, 2010, at 8:47 AM

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