Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Daviess Highway to Add Buggy Lanes

Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Daviess Highway to Add Buggy Lanes

Article excerpt

ODON - Daviess County plans to fast-track a project to add buggy lanes to CR 900E, the Odon-Cannelburg Road. The Indiana Department of Transportation announced Tuesday the county will receive an $11.6 million federal grant to compete the project.

County Road 900E is the main thoroughfare through Daviess County Amish country. The project will widen the roadway, add specific lanes for buggies, and additional shoulders. The county has already received close to $11 million to do that work up to CR 800N. The new funding will enable completion to CR 1250N near Odon.

"I'm overwhelmed," said County Commissioner Larry Wilson. "It's hard to imagine the figures we are talking about, but it is a true joy to receive this award."

"This is a great day," added Commissioner Tony Wichman. "This road will benefit the businesses here, but the core of this project is safety. The opportunity to enhance safety is immense."

Safety was one of the biggest drivers for the funding. In the last 10 years, there have been three traffic fatalities along the roadway. In the last three years, eight accidents involving injuries and 39 property damage crashes have taken place. Traffic on the narrow road is a mix of semis, large trucks, passenger vehicles and Amish buggies.

While safety may be the top priority for the project, economic issues also played a part in the decision.

"There are more than 100 businesses in this corridor," said Wichman. "The handful of large ones do more than $200 million in business each year. When you add in the rest of the small, mom-and- pop businesses $200 million may be just a drop in the bucket."

" This will be the catalyst for new jobs," said County Council President Jo Arthur. "In addition, the

Odon-Cannelburg Road plays a big part in our tourism. Right now the tourism impact on our county is $41. …

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