No major improvement for Danville street till 2016

No major improvement for Danville street till 2016

DANVILLE — Danville city officials told residents who live along the deteriorating Poland Road that major improvements are coming but not until 2016.

That timeline brought groans from the more than 50 people, mostly residents, who gathered at the Rock Church on Poland Road Thursday night to get answers from local officials about the poor condition of their road.

Although most of Poland on the city's northern edge is not within city limits, the portion of the road between North Vermilion Street and Bowman Avenue belongs to the city and has since 1996, when it took that section in trade for the state's assistance in an economic development project on Lynch Road that landed ALCOA.

But no major improvements have been made since then.

Mayor Scott Eisenhauer, city Engineer David Schnelle, Public Works Director Doug Ahrens and Alderman Bill Black told residents Thursday night that no one disputes that Poland Road is in bad shape and needs major improvement.

But city officials said local motor fuel tax dollars are limited, and those funds cannot keep up with all the street improvements needed in the city, so they must prioritize.

City officials shared a streets projects priority list at the meeting and factors that determine their priorities, which include traffic counts, the number of residences and businesses along a street, economic impact of a street and others.

Poland Road is almost entirely residential with an average daily traffic count of 1,400, according to city data, and that's far less than traffic counts of five major arterial streets in the city that are on the priority improvement list for 2014.

Ahrens said this fall, the city will do some patching and overlay sections on the S-curve of Poland, which is one of the more deteriorated sections. But actual resurfacing won't come until 2016.

Dan Rull has lived along Poland Road for more than 30 years, and he said there have been no major improvements to the road in all that time.

Black, who represents Ward 7 which includes a section of the part of Poland Road in question, told the audience that they want him and his fellow Ward 7 alderman Steve Foster to make Poland a higher priority than any other road project in the city, but they won't do that. His comments angered several in the audience who shouted at him; one resident said the city hasn't spent any money on Poland. Rull shouted that they just want a road they can drive on.

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