Letter to the Editor

Reader only wants the facts. Just the facts

Sunday, October 21, 2012

To the Editor:

Just the facts ma'am. Just the facts!

Detective Joe Friday. Dragnet.

Concerning closure of Eel River Bridge, State Road 46, Bowling Green:

* When -- Fact: Closed July 31 to Oct. 3 (second time in 2012). INDOT work to start Oct. 1,

* Ask 'em -- Fact: Local and state political machine, not really interested,

* More now 2012 -- Fact: In 2005, more now in 2012, 3,500 vehicles or more every 24 hours,

* That's not all -- Fact: Repair cost so far on bridge in 2012: $40,000-plus,

* Are you kidding? -- Fact: Two-piece steel plate, 8-by-15-inch, three-fourths thick, installed over pile after,

* Not necessary -- Fact: Loss of retail business from one merchant: 50 percent at least,

* $4 gallon for gas -- Fact: Cost of wasted time and fuel, massive at least,

* Total negligence -- Fact: Bridge has not been completely sand blasted in 80 years,

* Total negligence -- Fact: Bridge has never been completely painted in 80 years,

* Semis, both -- Fact: Bridge supports more than 80 tons at one time, "many times,"

* At least 20 times -- Fact: Bridge endures millions of tons of water pressuring flood,

* INDOT cost -- Fact: Bridge closed to auto only traffic, 4,000 pounds,

* Years of experience -- Fact: Local trucker says bridge safe, would cross with 80-ton load,

* Absolutely -- Fact: Total maintenance, ignored by INDOT (for more than 80 years),

* Conservative -- Fact: Estimated cost of mass repair more than $240,000,

* Minimum -- Fact: Lost commerce, lost time, increased danger, "maximum,"

* On Purpose -- Fact: Local officials not contacted prior to bridge closure,

* Oversight -- Fact: Detour to Bowling Green-Poland Road to north, never mentioned, going north,

* Estimated 4,500/24 hours -- Fact: Increased traffic to State Road 42 triples during closure,

* Normal 2,500 a day -- Fact: Danger on State Road 42 increases, so do accidents,

* Personal contact -- Fact: Citizens in Bowling Green and town don't seem too concerned,

* Triple Traffic -- Fact: INDOT never acknowledged increased danger on State Road 42.

When is enough, enough? The citizens of Clay and Owen counties have already seen INDOT in action in 2010, 2011 and now in 2012.

I am a citizen, a taxpayer, a family man and I am fed up with it.

But I think I must be the only one. Is there anyone else?

L.T. Clark,

Center Point