ODON — Daviess County now has the money to carry out a plan to fast-track the completion of a major upgrade on CR 900E, also known as the Odon-Cannelburg Road.
During a ceremony at the Simon J. Graber Building, the Indiana Department of Transportation announced the county will receive an $11.6 million federal grant to compete the project. “There are good reasons to do this project,” said INDOT Chief of Staff Troy Woodruff. “It’s been a long time in coming. We now have the money. We have the ability. Let’s get this done.”
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 run the rest of the way 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. The narrow road is a regular mix of semis, large trucks, passenger vehicles, and horse and buggies.
“We are committed to make this a safe road, safer than even it is designed to be,” said Wichman. “We are going to form a committee involving the sheriff’s office, county highway department, our legal people, and people who live and do business along this road to come up with some specific local ordinances to make it as safe as possible.”