Strange Use of Funds…

I don’t know about you, but I keep driving through Burr Oak and wondering when they are going to finish the project there. I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s done! What a weird little project for INDOT to take on… They probably spent nearly as much on traffic control as they did for the actual work. (Along with all the signs on S.R. 17, there are orange warning signs on North Street and Center Street.)

Southwest corner of North Street and SR 17

Lurkers know, I have long predicted a renaissance in Burr Oak, starting with “If it ain’t Burr Oak, don’t fix it” back in 2014 and again in 2017, but I’m not sure what these little pieces of sidewalk really accomplish.

There are now ADA compliant sidewalk intersections with ramps, with ADA warning pads and ADA compliant widths choked down to meet existing non-compliant walks… where there are existing walks… In the case of the the walk shown to the right at the southwest corner of North Street and SR 17, neither sidewalk this improvement ties into goes anywhere beyond a couple of houses.

Northwest corner of Center Street and SR 17

The improvement at the north west corner of Center Street and SR 17 is even more bizarre, as the walks in either direction are impassible and I assume, because there was no existing walk at the southwest corner of Center Street and SR 17, they didn’t do anything there. This makes the ADA warning pad shown to the right, point to… nothing… You’re back to walking on the highway.

Looking South to the Southwest corner of Center Street and SR 17

I assume the new walks terminate on the west end where the Right of Way for SR 17 ends. I’m curious though, that if the State deemed it necessary to upgrade these sidewalks at these intersections, then why was this not a complete project, extending accessible sidewalks from the Burr Oak Whistle Stop on the south to Sunstar Hybrids (Osborn Seed) on the north? The same question applies to the east side of SR 17…

I don’t begrudge the citizens of Burr Oak the improvements. As I said, their time is coming. If the County sewer districts that are in the works materialize, that time maybe soon. I do question the use of these funds in this manner. As they are currently installed, if a follow up project materializes to continue the walks as contemplated above, these corners would need to be at least partially demolished and reworked. This is a mistake Culver has made in the past and one I’ve ranted about here…

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