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The western leg of the U.S. 50 North Vernon Bypass opened Tuesday afternoon. It will be known temporarily as State Road 750 until the eastern part of the bypass is completed in late 2015. / Photo: Barry Wright
North Vernon and Jennings County got an early Christmas present Tuesday as the western leg of the U.S. 50 North Vernon Bypass officially opened. A ribbon cutting ceremony was held at the Park Theatre Civic Center in downtown North Vernon due to the inclement weather the area has experience over the last several days.
Mayor Campbell says once the trucking industry learns that the town has a new bypass, “it will clean up downtown somewhat with trucking traffic going out on the bypass.”
“It won’t be an overnight thing,” Campbell said. “It’ll take a while for word to get out and the trucking companies to know it.”
The mayor added that hopefully people, who are going to come downtown to trade, will still come and bring more with them. He says they may bring more because the trucks won’t be there.
Lt. Gov. Sue Ellspermann was also on hand for Tuesday’s ceremony. She said the new bypass will provide convenience and safety to residents in North Vernon and add to their quality of life. She also mentioned how the bypass will bring in more economic development.
Matt Sporleder, president of the Jennings County Commissioners, shared his vision for the bypass saying whether you love it or hate it, this is going to be wonderful project.
Sporleder hopes this project will allow his children to get all of their education here at home and be able “to stay here, live here, raise a family here and work here and actually earn a decent wage.”
“I am the third generation of Sporleders to be raised here and to stay here and eke out a living, and wouldn’t it be a shame if the fourth generation didn’t make it,” Sporleder said. “That’s my vision and hopefully the sky’s the limit of what this project will bring.”
The section that opened Tuesday northwest of the city will be named State Road 750 temporarily until the entire bypass is completed and reconnected to U.S. 50 sometime in late 2015. As for the eastern leg of the bypass, from State Road 3 back to U.S. 50, INDOT will hold a public hearing at Jennings County High School on Dec. 18 so residents can comment on current project plans and finds of adverse impact on historic properties within areas the bypass will affect.
The western section of the bypass was built by Force Construction and Milestone Contractors, both of Columbus, for a total of $25 million. As part of the project, three bridges on the existing U.S. 50 west of the bypass have been rehabilitated.
A signal light has also been installed where the bypass intersects with State Road 7 to control traffic.
Click on the images below from Tuesday's ceremony.
Last Updated: Tuesday, December 10, 2013 5:12:20 PM
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