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Rumor mill grinds to a halt on 231

Posted Monday, October 24, 2011, at 4:11 PM

Ah, you have to love the way the rumor mill operates around here.

No sooner did a set of traffic counters appear the other day on North Jackson Street (aka U.S. 231) than unfounded rumors began to swirl.

Three counters were placed between the courthouse square and the viaduct at the edge of Greencastle. One spanned U.S. 231, just north of the city parking lot that is adjacent to the Banner Graphic building. Another was just south of Helmer Appraisal, with a third spread across the road just beyond Muffler Connection, north of the railroad tracks.

Oh, how quickly 1+1+1 can be misconstrued to equal 6.

The first person to say anything about the traffic counters obviously had it all figured out. Not!

They, he said (while failing to identify his "they"), must be planning to fix the viaduct (aka the "mouse hole") at the north edge of Greencastle.

Nope. Probably not until INDOT is adopted by the U.S. Mint.

Rumormonger No. 2 somehow figured a road-widening project was in the works for North Jackson Street.

"Just like south of town on 231," he reasoned, meaning the Bloomington Street-Veterans Highway intersection that has been under construction since the day of the fair parade.

Not a snowball's chance. How are you going to add another lane between the square and the railroad tracks when half the businesses are already only a sidewalk's width away from the roadway?

And what good would a third lane really do when the road would have to narrow back to two lanes to go through the aforementioned viaduct?

Third on the list was an oldie but a goodie.

I hear they're collecting data for a downtown bypass, the old-timer says.

Undoubtedly that would be the bypass that would include traffic driving over the Big Walnut Reservoir dam, right?

One quick call to INDOT settled the score.

No viaduct, no road widening, no bypass.

Just periodic traffic counts for INDOT files.

Not as interesting as the rumors it created. The truth seldom is.


Comments
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I heard it was to track North American Road Squirrel migration patterns...

-- Posted by PlatyPius on Tue, Nov 1, 2011, at 7:49 AM

The purpose of the traffic counters on North Jackson St. are in preparation of the county moving Crows bridge to the county museum parking lot. Traffic will be rerouted along west Franklin St, north on Columbia, east on Co Rd 50N back to US231. Once the old bridge is located at the museum it will be cut up into small pieces and sold as landmark keep sakes. Crows bridge is the oldest bridge in Putnam county dating back to 1811 and originally built over the Brick Chapel creek, in the spring flood of 1812 it was washed off its limestone foundation into the field southwest of the south fork of Brick Chapel creek which sometime early in 1822 in and unseasonable wet spring, unexplainablely went dry and is no longer located on county maps. In 1813 the county hired RU Bridget Co. of Dry Creek Texas to move Crows bridge to its Big Walnut location, since no roads existed east of US231 the bridge was loaded on a barge and floated up river, however in anticipation of the civil war the bridge movers had to return home and the bridge was left setting 4 miles west of the proposed location that it was going to. In 1815 the county decided to build and access road to reach the bridge as the bridge movers had inadvertently left the bridge over local teenagers favorite swimming hole, and the county was experiencing a high number of emergency calls due to buggies getting stuck in the field south of the bridge. Abraham Lincoln visited Putnam county in 1816 and was entertained by a tour of the bridge and the story of how it reached its location, he declared the bridge move to be a major moves project and campaigned that ever elected he would grant payment by the federal government for road improvements.

-- Posted by illudo illusi illusum on Fri, Feb 17, 2012, at 4:49 PM


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A native of Chicago and a graduate of the University of Missouri, Eric Bernsee has enjoyed residing in Greencastle for more than 25 years. Years of consuming McDonald's iced teas, Dairy Castle flurries and Marvin's GCBs have helped make him the man he is today.
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