[The Brazil Times nameplate] Fair ~ 59°F  
High: 72°F ~ Low: 53°F
Thursday, May 5, 2016

Candidate discusses SR 46 Bridge

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

During a press conference Tuesday, state representative candidate James Mann II, (right) spoke with those in attendance including Clay County Commissioner President Charlie Brown (center) about the Eel River Bridge on State Road 46. [Order this photo]
During a press conference Tuesday, District 46 state representative candidate James R. Mann II spoke to area residents and two Clay County commissioners at the Eel River Bridge on State Road 46.

Mann said he has spoken with many residents of District 46 about the closing of the bridge.

"Residents in all four counties have made their thoughts known to me on this issue," Mann said. "In my opinion, community matters. From Saline City to Bowling Green, Cory to Spencer, Riley to Ellettsville and Terre Haute to Bloomington, citizens would like to see a representative work for their best interests."

Mann said he has met with many individuals who have been affected by the bridge closing including an apprentice electrician who drives between Terre Haute and Bloomington five days a week, a resident of Spencer who drives to and from work in Terre Haute five days a week and a Bowling Green businessman who has seen a dramatic cut in business profits.

"This is the biggest link between Vigo County and Monroe County," Mann said. "This is business, this is safety, this is schools, this is education. This is such a significant artery for communities here."

Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) recently announced the bridge, which closed July 31, would be repaired and opened by late October. However, Mann still had questions on whether the bridge would still need repairs after opening.

"(The Eel River Bridge) will be a priority of my representation (if elected)," Mann said. "If INDOT says we can refurbish it, then refurbish it. If INDOT says we need to build a new bridge around it, then that's what we do. Whatever INDOT recommends is what we'll go with, but it needs to be sooner than later."

Mann said he supported INDOT and their decisions.

"I believe INDOT has a long-range plan and refurbishing this would be a part of that plan. The question would be just when is that going to come about," he said. "I request that INDOT be given all of the support it needs to make a determination about the future of this bridge and all the bridges of District 46."

Mann said he felt many residents would be OK with having a stoplight on the bridge if the repairs can be made one lane at a time.

"INDOT may say that's not an option; I don't know," Mann said. "But I think the people are really advocating that we get this bridge up and right. Do it right the first time, which will actually save money in the long run because it won't have to have this emergency relief."

Mann said Indiana State University fans were not able to travel SR 46 to the football stadium on Indiana University's campus, forfeiting many community dollars. Mann was also concerned about state funds.

"We need to invest in our infrastructure and be the best stewards of taxpayer money that we can be," Mann said.

Commissioner President Charlie Brown was on hand to state his opinion, explaining how the county roads being used as detours are dangerous due to the increased traffic. He was also concerned about the increased traffic causing poor road conditions.

"It's an ongoing concern," Brown said. "It is a big deal. It's a dangerous switchback-type of road (River Road)."

Mann supported Brown's statements, and the two discussed area roads being used as detours by locals.

"I will be the biggest supporter this district has for the improvement of this historic structure," Mann said. "Having efficient bridges and roadways will be a top priority of my representation of the 65,000 citizens living in Clay, Monroe, Owen and Vigo counties."

Note: The nature of the Internet makes it impractical for our staff to review every comment. If you feel that a comment is offensive, please Login or Create an account first, and then you will be able to flag a comment as objectionable. Please also note that those who post comments on thebraziltimes.com may do so using a screen name, which may or may not reflect a website user's actual name. Readers should be careful not to assign comments to real people who may have names similar to screen names. Refrain from obscenity in your comments, and to keep discussions civil, don't say anything in a way your grandmother would be ashamed to read.

What a total political suck up. I am affected by this bridge. Things happen. It is being fixed. Nothing a possible election of a state Rep is going to change. Pure political pandering.

-- Posted by commonman1 on Tue, Sep 18, 2012, at 5:55 PM

That is so true commonman1

-- Posted by CALL'EM AS I C'M on Tue, Sep 18, 2012, at 6:48 PM

I'd bet this picture was taken on the west end of the bridge. It'd be too far to drive to get to the east end. Also, you might know Charlie Brown had to be in this photo op. Who's that guy to the left of Charlie waiting to get his string pulled?

-- Posted by My Dime on Tue, Sep 18, 2012, at 9:20 PM

Lol my dime, I think all be does is wander around trying to get in the paper for doing absolutely nothing.

-- Posted by myownlittleworld1 on Tue, Sep 18, 2012, at 11:40 PM

The guy on the left is Charles's sidekick. The picture is looking east to Bowling Green, you can tell by the power lines being on the right.

The bidding sheet the state put out states the bridge has to be opened Oct. 12 2012. I think that was misprinted. How can you accept bids Sept. 12 and expect work to be done 1 month later, unless you all ready know who's bid you are accepting.

-- Posted by smallguysmalltown on Wed, Sep 19, 2012, at 11:03 AM

MyDime..CommonMan..Smallguysmalltown and i'm for life.

I don't know about you, but I would rather have a county commissioner willing to work with our government in Indianapolis rather than fight with them. Charlie and his "sidekick" as you call him worked with the house and senate and Indianapolis and worked with the federal government to get Clay County governmental help for the droughts and flood repair. How about the thousands of dollars Charlie saved this county getting a bridge repaired at NO CHARGE..not too far from bowling green in Clay City.

Will your Sidekick Mr. Fenwick work as hard for the people of Clay County? What you call a Photo Op...I call leadership at work!

Vote Fact...Not Fiction...Vote Brown!

-- Posted by Knightsvillegal21 on Sat, Sep 22, 2012, at 8:35 PM

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: