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Construction concerns put to rest for some on Indiana 23

May 06, 2011|By Colleen Ferreira (cferreira@wsbt.com), Click here to follow Colleen on Twitter | By Colleen Ferreira (cferreira@wsbt.com), Click here to follow Colleen on Twitter

Granger - Starting Monday, your morning commute will take a little longer because of reduced speeds and lane restrictions on Indiana 23 between Brick and Adams Roads.   

Get ready for 35 miles per hour and temporary driving lanes.

But along with the hassle of driving slower, many are wondering how the fire station on the corner of Indiana 23 and Elm will cope with the construction during fire calls.

Neighbors along Indiana 23 say this expansion project is not safe.

Barb Kracher has lived on Indiana 23 for more than three decades.

She's concerned about the road expansion project, especially the new sidewalk.

“I don’t know who's going to use it," Kracher said. "Where are you going to go?"

Neighbors have complained about the road expansion project.

Clay Township Fire Station 4 sits on the corner of Indiana 23 and Elm Road.

When it's time to expand Indiana 23 from two lanes to five lanes, it will be right in the middle of the work.

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"We anticipate a little bit of a delay from time to time on State Road 23 with the congestion, but we have found alternate routes," said Chief John Vance of Clay Fire Territory. "It's going to be a much safer alternative than we have today."

Right now, fire trucks leave the station on Indiana 23, a high speed highway.

“Often times we're sitting on our driving lights and sirens activated and people simply won't stop," Vance said.

So the Clay Fire Territory worked with the Indiana Department of Transportation to make the road construction a little less of a hassle.

The fire station will be rebuilt so the doors will face Elm road allowing fire trucks to exit directly onto that road.

“When we exit onto Elm, we're gonna get the green light and that will stop traffic on State Road 23," Vance said. "The people from INDOT have looked at public safety being number one. It’s been a concern of theirs and they've been helpful with that."

But Kracher said a new road and sidewalk so close to her home is not the safest option.

'We've seen hub caps, pop bottles, plastic bottles, numerous things flying off cars into properties," Kracher said. "So what we're concerned about is the injury aspect of it, how people could get hurt."

One of the main concerns was response times with construction so close to the station.

Chief Vance said the station will dodge the construction with reliable alternative routes.

He said these alternative routes are as effective as their normal route.

When WSBT spoke with neighbors about public safety concerns they didn’t seem to be concerned with this topic, they were more worried about the new sidewalk safety issues.

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