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Watson Road project conjures up memories of Corydon-Ramsey Road work

This whole Watson Road project brings up many familiar and unsatisfactory memories of the Corydon-Ramsey Road widening project. The results of that project, the way it was handled and the people involved are very fresh in my memories.

Those of us in the area to be widened were very opposed to the project due to the effect it would have on our property and lives.

We wrote letters, attended commissioners’ meetings and collected signatures on petitions. We met with the county engineer and the commissioners privately and on our properties. We listened to the promises of safety and of preservation of our properties along the road.

In the end, none of that mattered. Our land was placed in eminent domain; we were offered monetary compensation and pretty much told to take it or leave it.

So, now we live on a road posted at 40 mph that runs over an average of 70 mph, but it is safer, according to the county highway department. (The party line from the HCHD is, “We made it safer; we have no responsibility or control over how fast or reckless drivers decide to drive.” The HCHD did speed studies before the widening and already knew the average speed was 65 mph. So, I maintain, yes, you absolutely do have responsibility; you made a bad situation worse.) So, who did you make the road safer for? Not I or those living along the road, not the drivers on it as there was a fatality in late December. So, drop the “safety” propaganda because no intelligent person should believe it. It is not based in fact, research or truth.

I see the same thing happening to the folks along the Watson Road project: officials listening, supposed support spoken, excuses made as to priority status, land taken by eminent domain and the project done anyway equaling more traffic, faster speeds, less privacy and permanent interruption of your rural way of life.

We chose to live in Harrison County for a reason.

And for the rest of us Harrison County taxpayers, it means more taxes to maintain and manage the miles of roads we are accepting from the state for the privilege of doing this project.

So, who wins here? Follow the money. Ask the questions: Who stands to benefit here? Where are the studies saying this project needs to be done, let alone be labeled priority? Why is the man who just resigned his job as Harrison County engineer even involved? How will this benefit him? Are businesses associated with the commissioners involved as they were with the Corydon-Ramsey Road widening? Are all involved totally transparent in this project?

And, my final question: If the taxpayers and land owners along the proposed project do not want the project, why aren’t they being listened to? They are the constituents of these elected officials. Their needs and wants should be taken into consideration over and above anything or anyone else. They have the most important input here.

Good luck to these folks.

And, everyone else should remember, you and your property, needs, privacy, et al. could be next. So, it is to your benefit to support these folks. Our elected officials should be listening to their constituents. Being united is in all of our best interests.

Barb Rumple | Corydon, Ind.