Tuesday, April 07 2009
EVANSVILLE - NEWS 25 learns big changes ahead for Lincoln Avenue on Evansville's Eastside. Plans to repave and expand the narrow stretch are all on the list of improvements. But what does this mean for local residents?
NEWS 25 got answers from City Engineer, Patrick Keepes.
Keepes tells NEWS 25 this project has been in the works for over a year.
He says once it's completed, the stretch of Lincoln between Martin Lane and Kirkwood will be safer, not only for drivers, but also residents and students.
"It's complete reconstruction," says Keepes. Stakes and yellow flags line Lincoln right now, indicating the start of an about $760,000 reconstruction project, paid by city taxpayers.
"We will be removing the existing pavement, which has outlived it's useful life," says Keepes.
"We'll be putting down new pavement, concrete curbs, gutters, and sidewalks as well as a left turn lane onto Fuquay Road."
At tonights Traveling City Hall, Keepes laid out the project plans. Keepes says adding right and left turn lanes onto Fuquay will smooth traffic flow, and widening Lincoln will give more room for bicyclists and safety for pedestrians. "These sidewalks were a key part of the project," says Keepes. "We've got Plaza School right here. We've got residential neighborhoods on both ends."
Rodney Rosenbury lives at the corner of Fuquay and Lincoln and says, "We have a lot of close calls out here at this corner." He tells NEWS 25 he's happy to see a left turn lane and sidewalks being added, but says with these improvements, comes a downside.
"They're taking most of my side yard," says Rosenbury. "I'm going to be backing out into traffic trying to back out of my garage."
An April 13th construction start date is already set, and Keepes says, "We know that's going to be an inconvenience. There's no easy way to reconstruct a road without imposing some inconvenience."
Reconstruction will happen one lane at a time. Keepes says, "We're going to try and maintain traffic through there as much as we can."
Keepes tells NEWS 25 most of the work will happen over the summer months when school is out, and hopes the project will be finished come fall.