Cannelton on board with River Road project

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By Janet Robb

Citizen concerned about traffic

CANNELTON - Cannelton city leaders voted last Monday to join Tell City and Perry County in an interlocal agreement with the Perry County Port Authority to improve River Road and an unimproved street running from it to Indiana 66.

Port authority board President Alvin Evans told members of the city's board of public works and safety the improvements made would help take trucks off city streets in Tell City. The News reported Sept. 25 that the port authority is working to incorporate the River Road project into the Indiana Department of Transportation upgrades to Indiana 66.

Project applications are due in November, Evans continued, informing public-works members that Tell City would be the lead agency on the application since they are listed as a Group 3 body under the Federal Highway Administration.

Cannelton and Perry County fall under Group 4.

"Group 3 has less competition for money than Group 4 so it should be easier to get money and that's why Tell City is the lead," Evans said.

The port authority will bear all costs.

"The maintenance will be done by the port authority for normal wear and tear done by truck traffic and if something were to locate on land adjoining that would increase the traffic, we would get with the cities to help," he said.

City attorney Chris Goffinet drafted the agreement and said it has been reviewed and approved by Tell City and county commissioners. In regard to the importance to Cannelton, Goffinet said, River Road is closed right now but with the improvements "it would open the road back up and more importantly there is no financial responsibility to repair and maintain. Cannelton is going to receive an improved city street."

Also, Evans said, they've talked with INDOT and they're willing to put in a turning lane near the road's intersection with Indiana 66 near the Patio Steak House.

Councilman Adam Goffinet said it would be important to include Sanitation Supervisor Jerry Ball so everyone knows where the sewer line runs in relation to the road. There are plans in the future to work on that line and Goffinet said he doesn't want anyone to have to tear up a new road to fix it.

Evans said they would draw up plans before work is done and the line might have to be moved so it's not in the center of the road.

During the common council meeting later on, Mary Snyder asked board members not to sign any contract that would bring more trucks along Seventh Street in Cannelton, which doubles as Indiana 66.

"I'm not sure if you've lived on Seventh Street and it gets a lot of vibrations," she said. "I have homes out there that have been cracked, the ceiling cracked, window panes vibrate and the diesel fumes are terrible."

It took several years for the city to finally get Indiana 237 completed and to get the majority of trucks off the street, she continued. "It upsets me and I'm sure if you talk to property owners who live there and have to deal with it they'd be upset too." Snyder went on to tell board members that she didn't think they've considered the infrastructure of the sewage main that runs along River Road.

"It's in terrible shape and I don't think it could take all the vibrations," she said. "It's just not a good thing for Cannelton to send trucks down Seventh Street so I'm here tonight to ask you to reconsider your position and ask this council to consider this ... and not approve any contract."

"Well the contract has been signed," Mayor Smokey Graves said.

"The contract has been signed?" Snyder asked.

After Graves told her that it had indeed been signed, she inquired if the common council voted and approved the agreement.

"As a city street, the board of works had the authority to approve and sign that," answered Chris Goffinet.

Graves pointed out that the trucks Snyder mentioned have already driven through the area. The trucks drove through here when they couldn't use the port because of flooding in March and April, he said, adding that he asked the port authority about additional traffic and they said the trucks had already been through.

"I can honestly say that no one contacted by writing, by telephone call, by message, by conversation that there was an issue with the trucks coming through because obviously in a 24 hour period what they were bringing through the city wasn't interrupting, interfering and for the most part not annoying," the mayor said.

"It's a shame because it's certainly not a good thing for Cannelton," Snyder remarked. "It's great for Tell City because they want those trucks off their streets down there. It's not good and now you're going to bring them all this way because they're all going to come to 237."

Adam Goffinet pointed out that right now the trucks are going up Washington Street in Tell City, turning right onto Indiana 66 and coming through Cannelton already.

"I just hope that you'll watch that because if you haven't lived in the area Smokey, you just don't know what the vibrations are like out there, and they're bad," Snyder commented.

"I can say that I have lived on Seventh Street and do have an idea," Graves responded. "I understand you're concerned and you know, it's not built and I think once you see the paving and what goes into that and how they've structured this thing, this traffic isn't going to be adverse to a lot of things going on in the city."

David Covetts commented that he lives along Seventh Street and his driveway has moved some and so has come concrete he poured.

"What we're talking about (in the contract) is a city street that belongs to us, River Road," Graves said. "What goes on the state highway, we have to live with."

"Not necessarily," Snyder interjected.

"We can change very little," he said. "I can simply say that's a state highway and they mandate what they choose."