S.R. 11: the road more traveled
People who drive S.R. 11 each day between Mauckport and Elizabeth in the far reaches of southern Harrison County may feel like they’re so far from Indianapolis that no one cares about the occasionally dangerous stretches of road they travel.
S.R. 11 is narrow, winding and hilly. It would make an exciting Grand Prix or go-kart course. Over the years, however, normal car, truck and tractor traffic has multiplied as more people are building houses out in the beautiful rural countryside in the area. Commercial truck trafic has increased, too. Things will only get worse when the Chariot Run golf course opens up next spring near the South Central school complex, adding to the traffic already going to and from Caesars’ riverboat casino at Bridgeport.
The state is well aware of the problems on S.R. 11. Jim Ude, development engineer with the Indiana Dept. of Transportation’s Seymour office, has sent a crew to Harrison County to study the problem. He said about 20 miles of 11, from 135 near Mauckport to 211 east of Elizabeth, is already scheduled to be repaved next year. However, he said the paving contract will not include any rock work, which is needed on Morvin’s Hill, east of Mauckport, which is too narrow for two trucks to pass at the same time.
The same road was also inspected earlier by State Sen. Richard Young, D-Milltown, Third District Commissioner Terry Miller, former Taylor Township Trustee Frances Mayola Gregory and her husband, Norman, Seymour district supervisor Joe Hall and his engineering staff. They spent one afternoon looking at 11 and its feeder roads between Mauckport and Bridgeport.
They determined, Young said, that S.R. 11 needs to have some hills leveled, some dips filled, and some sharp curves straightened. The road needs to be paved, and smoothed out, to eliminate bumpiness.
Everyone who drives that road agrees that the rocky hillside on Morvin’s Hill needs improvement work too, because it’s too close to the narrow road and the asphalt shoulder below it is frequently washed out by heavy rain, making it a horrible place to be behind the wheel when you meet a big truck. (Either way, it’s going to be a harrowing ride.)
We’re not sure what the state engineers will decide to do with S.R. 11, but we’re glad to say a lot of the right people are aware of the problems and anxious to do something to make the old road safer. Young said, “We want major improvements. The state needs to come up with a better plan.”
The sooner the better.