(WASHINGTON) - Some concern was expressed, at a public hearing Thursday night, about relocating the intersection of U.S. 50 and East National Highway in Washington.
Andrea McCann, of the Washington Times-Herald reports, the hearing was an opportunity for the project to be explained and for the public to give input.
Close to 30 people packed the Washington City Council Chambers for the hearing, which was conducted by David Goffinet of Bernardin Lochmueller & Associates.
Goffinet explained that all comments will be evaluated and included in the final environmental document for the project.
The relocation project would move the U.S. 50/E. National Highway intersection 1,050 feet southwest along U.S. 50. A new section of road would run from the E. National Highway/Industrial Park Road intersection southeast and connect into U.S. 50 at the relocated intersection.
A roundabout would be placed at E. National Highway and Industrial Park Road, and approaches and turn lanes installed in the appropriate places. Decorative lighting, to match that on Main Street, would be added.
Surveys and traffic studies have been done, and utilities have been identified and contacted. A draft environmental study also was completed to show the impact on both the human and natural environments. INDOT gave their approval on January 2.
Mayor Joe Wellman explained the project is a joint endeavor with the city, county and Daviess County Economic Development involved. He says he believes it will improve the entrance to the city.
But not everyone agreed, with some people concerned businesses along E. National Highway might be harmed. Harry Hanson and Tom Boyd believes the relocation project as it stands would create barriers to development east of the intersection and add to problems north of E. National Highway..
Cost of the project would be approximately $2,870,000. Construction would be completed in five stages so the whole area isn't closed during the entire construction.
If all goes as planned, appraising would begin in March or April of 2013. Rick Bennitt of Bernardin Lochmueller said appraisers will make property inspections with the land owners present, and a review appraiser and city officials will go over it. Once all parties are comfortable with the numbers, offers will be extended by INDOT-approved purchasing agents.
Final design plans would be completed by September 2013. Project letting would be in January of 2014, and construction would occur between March and September of 2014.
The public comment period ends Feb. 14. Anyone wishing to comment may do so on tape, by filling out a form or emailing Whitaker at firstname.lastname@example.org. All comments will be submitted with the hearing process.
Anyone wishing for information on the project may contact the mayor's office at 254-5575.
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