West Walnut Street project set to begin

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

GREENCASTLE -- Putnam County commissioners Jim Baird and Gene Beck heard Monday that the W. Walnut Street project would begin Oct. 8.

"The signs are going up now," said Jim Smith with the Putnam County Highway Department. "There won't be any detours for the road because all the roads around are gravel."

The unfortunate news is that the road will be closed just before the start of the Parke County Covered Bridge Festival. W. Walnut Street is a favorite back route to the Mansfield and Bridgeton festival sites.

Work on the road will begin on the west end of Walnut Street near County Line Rd and come east toward Greencastle. The road will be closed during the entire 10-day festival and beyond.

A contract with Cinergy Metronet regarding the phone system for the courthouse was tabled until Emergency Operations Center Manger Dave Costin could talk with them about an automatic renewal clause and attorney fees.

County Attorney Scott Hoff told commissioners he felt the attorney fees in the contract were more extreme than he likes to see.

Costin also asked for an amendment in their policy manual regarding sensitive law enforcement data that is stored on the computer system at the EOC.

"We just want to safeguard the information so no one but police and law enforcement can view it. I have access because I take care of the computers," said Costin. The files contain sensitive material from cases and persons under investigation by law enforcement.

He also received permission to move two high-band radios from a building in poor condition to the EOC. Costin told commissioners Greencastle Mayor Sue Murray was planning on giving written approval Tuesday.

The Hoosier State Paranormal group asked permission to conduct an investigation and do research on the Putnam County Home. The group has done several investigations of homes and buildings with purported paranormal activity.

Commissioners tabled the request until the next meeting while they check the county's insurance liability.

Some discussion took place regarding the paving of a section of road from the dam spillway to Betsy Ross at Heritage Lake by Clear Creek. The project was paid for by the Heritage Lake Conservancy. Kathy Deer presented commissioners with a bill of $930 for 65 feet that was paved and asked if the county would pay the bill.

"Why didn't Clear Creek contact us or the highway department before they did the work," questioned Commissioner Gene Beck. "We don't have any idea how much stone or paving went on the road."

Commissioners say they do not have a copy of the blue prints of the job but did acknowledge that Clear Creek representatives appeared before the board with information earlier.

Deer stated that she believed blue prints were presented at that earlier meeting. Commissioners asked to be given blue prints and the details about the rock and paving materials. Deer agreed to ask Clear Creek to provide them.

The next meeting of the Putnam County Commission will be held on Oct. 5 at 9 a.m. at the Putnam County Museum.

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  • Are you stupid or something? You can't plan this any better? Whoever decided the dates on this is an idiot. It doesn't surprise me much though, this county is full of stupid ideas.

    -- Posted by hoop2077 on Tue, Sep 22, 2009, at 3:14 AM
  • That makes a hardship on the people like us that live out near county line road and use west walnut to get to greencastle daily.

    -- Posted by Hungry&Fat on Tue, Sep 22, 2009, at 5:38 AM
  • Simmer down! Road won't be closed,just restricted driving lanes. This is an ARRA project paid for with economic stimulus dollars from federal government for "shovel ready" projects.

    -- Posted by kubotafan on Tue, Sep 22, 2009, at 6:31 AM
  • holy cow.... Oh my goodness people there are so many other ways there.... Take 40 to county line road or 40 all the way to 59 or maybe take 36 to 59... People will complain about anything. I am sure you would be happy with this project if you had to drive it everyday! I am sure the farmers in the area are very happy with the traffic being diverted maybe they will be able to get in and out of the fields safely those 10 days!!!

    -- Posted by cassie on Tue, Sep 22, 2009, at 8:17 AM
  • Not very brilliant to close it during the covered bridge festival. Just like Indy does for the 500 -closes the most traveled routes! Poor planning!

    -- Posted by mal on Tue, Sep 22, 2009, at 10:07 AM
  • Thanks. I've lived on W. Walnut for over thirty years. Always busy and ESPECIALLY during the covered bridge festival. What wingnut would ever close all of the road at one time? I would imagine that W. Walnut is second only to Manhattan road for non-highway traffic in the entire county.Good luck with the half dozen or so serious traffic accidents that happen out here each month, and homeowners, you better make sure your insurance is paid up in case of fire. THIS IDEA IS STUPID!!!!! Hey Cassie - start about 5 miles west of town and let us know which way going - to Reelsville or Bellmore - works best for YOU! The article says the road will be Closed - not half closed or restricted. Which is it? I know it needs repaired, but use your heads.

    -- Posted by countyboy on Tue, Sep 22, 2009, at 1:57 PM
  • I agree with countyboy. This couldn't wait until right after the bridge festival? A couple of weeks will make that big of a difference? I doubt it, but maybe I'm wrong. I feel sorry for the people that live out that way.

    -- Posted by ZRXguy on Tue, Sep 22, 2009, at 3:31 PM
  • Thank God after all these years of neglect West Walnut St. is finally getting some attention. Will the improperly slanted curves be built up correctly so as to help hold the cars to the road? Will the blind hill be scalped so vision is improved? Will the shoulders be properly constructed? I hope this will not be just another throw and roll of chip and seal you see on some county roads. I am glad the road is being improved and I hope it is done professionally. I have not researched but Greencastle may well be the only county seat in Indiana without an improved State or U.S. road running westward. Cheers!!!

    -- Posted by all-in! on Tue, Sep 22, 2009, at 4:24 PM
  • As I said earlier,road will not be closed-1 lane restrictions only complete with flagmen and warning signs-this is a federal project,county has no money,manpower or equipment involved-plans for this project are available to read at Putnam County Highway between 7AM and 3:30PM,M-F!

    -- Posted by kubotafan on Tue, Sep 22, 2009, at 5:00 PM
  • This paving project has been poorly planned. The traffic load during those 10 days is astronomical!! The Covered Bridge Festival happens at the same time each year - it's not like the commissioners and the county didn't know about it! Why wasn't this project completed this past summer?? I think the county officials need to explain themselves and they need to seriously re-think this decision.

    -- Posted by jakesmom on Tue, Sep 22, 2009, at 5:05 PM
  • Just watch your speed thru all the construction zones and use common sense-you'll be just fine! US 36 still goes through Parke County to the Bridge Festival.

    -- Posted by kubotafan on Wed, Sep 23, 2009, at 7:13 AM
  • Bomtrax5 I hope you're right. I usually read the Banner for the news and don't have to resort to scanning the County Highway info system for the 'rest of the story'. I DO know that unless there are some provisions for local traffic that my wife will add approx 24 miles round trip per day to her commute to and from work for the duration of the project. In any case the timing was ill advised and as for the Fed doing the work they will not, they will pay for the work.

    -- Posted by countyboy on Wed, Sep 23, 2009, at 8:40 AM
  • this project should have waited until after the covered bridge festival. why couldn't it have waited? who makes these decisions?

    -- Posted by just a local on Wed, Sep 23, 2009, at 8:43 AM
  • This project needs to be postponed until after the festival. My mother lives right past the festival and unless you drive through the country (this road is the best back way to get there from Greencastle), it takes to long to get through traffic to get there. Last year it took me and hour and a half to get past the festival from the Berry. Also my mother lives on this road, and is having a garage sale and this blocks customers from getting to her house. Yes, the road needs fixed but the festival is not the time!

    -- Posted by indyhippychick on Wed, Sep 23, 2009, at 6:25 PM
  • Evidently Cassie doesn't know anything about the traffic on 36 and 59! If you want to sit for hours in stopped traffic that is the route to go. But the people that work over there it means instead of 16 miles it will be 32 miles to go 36 and 59 and paying more to park. Parking on this side of the bridge is $3, on 59 it is $5 at least. The paper didn't say you could get through, it said the road would be closed, maybe they just don't want us to know that!

    -- Posted by 19pioneer37 on Wed, Sep 23, 2009, at 9:12 PM
  • Thanks for kicking in there,countyboy! Rieth-Riley was awarded the contract-Butler Fairman and Seufert are the engineers. 3 firms bid on the project-FYI

    -- Posted by kubotafan on Thu, Sep 24, 2009, at 11:53 AM
  • When does Mansfield start exactly?

    -- Posted by putcoresident on Mon, Sep 28, 2009, at 12:32 AM
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