The Daviess County Council has thrown both its words and finances to support a plan to speed up completion of the expansion of the Odon-Cannelburg Road that is also known as CR 900E. The council has signed off on a letter of support for the County Highway Department to seek a grant to finish the work and has also approved a plan that would cover the local matching funds. The total cost of project is projected at $11.6 million $11,671,000 with the local matching money totalling $2.9 million.
"This money would be available in 2017 and would let us complete the project all the way to CR 1250N," said county Highway Superintendent Phil Cornelius. "If it is funded then it would also have to be completed by the end of 2017."
Daviess County is already working on the first phase of the project that will expand the width of the road and add buggy lanes to separate motor vehicle and buggy traffic on the busy road that runs through the heart of the Amish country in the eastern part of the county. Officials had been anticipating finishing the work in stages, but earlier this month were told the state had changed the way it dispenses the money for special projects and that the CR 900E project had a good chance of getting fully funded in the next round of grants.
"Moving this forward is a good thing," said Cornelius. "The residents out there have told us they want to see it get completed and let them get back to normal as quickly as possible."
Councilman Dave Smith, who had questioned the project in the past came out in support of getting it done. "I had some phone calls from people who didn't want the work done, but when we had our public hearings they wouldn't stand up and say anything," he explained. "Then we had that last accident out there where that girl was killed and there was no alcohol involved or anything. That changed my mind."