Cannelton's 7th Street to undergo major overhaul

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By Kevin Koelling, Managing Editor

Discussions result in project extension

CANNELTON - The Indiana Department of Transportation has agreed to perform more improvements to Indiana 66 through Cannelton than they originally planned, according to the city's mayor.

Smokey Graves said at a city-council meeting Aug. 11 INDOT now plans to improve the highway from the McDonald's restaurant in Tell City to the Patio Steak House between the two cities.

The state transportation agency's Web site reflects, as it has for some time, that $8 million worth of work is planned for 2011, beginning 1.83 miles east of the intersection between 12th and Payne streets in Tell City to .09 miles west of (old) Indiana 237.

"If they're going to do all of that work, why stop shy of Old 237?" Graves asked. "It didn't make sense. I'm glad somebody was listening."

He said he told an INDOT representative, "you don't understand how much traffic comes across the bridge, going to Wal-Mart." Much of it is people on foot or riding bicycles, he said after the meeting.

Sidewalks will be raised as part of the work, and wheelchair access will be incorporated into every corner, the mayor said. City attorney Chris Goffinet noted sidewalks rise only an inch above the street in some places.

Water runs up on the sidewalks during heavy rains, Clerk-Treasurer Arvina Bozarth added. "That's what tears up our sidewalks."

Graves said after the meeting the road will be milled, then repaved to increase the distance between road and sidewalk surfaces.

He had attended an INDOT meeting that included Tell City officials, he said, and they agreed to some modifications to the project.

Cher Goodwin, public-information director for INDOT's Vincennes District, confirmed Wednesday that changes to the projected work will include "major pavement rehabilitation" that will strip existing asphalt down to earth, restabilize the ground and rebuild the road through Cannelon to its intersection with Indiana 237. The final scope of the project won't be determined until some time next year, she said.