Friday, July 10, 2009

Stimulus arrives in Darke County !

Sort of. If you visit the federal stimulus website, you can drill down to Ohio - and then to Darke County, where you will find that our friends in Washington have bestowed upon us (with our own money) three stimulus-funded road projects.

The first project has just begun - and will be a welcome improvement. For those of you who regularly travel U.S. Route 36 East, you know there is a nasty little hill on 36 just west of Arcanum-Bear's Mill Road. If you are turning onto 36 (especially from the north), it can be treacherous. There have been a handful of accidents at the intersection over the years.

$150,000 worth of stimulus dollars (again, our money) will be spent removing that nasty little hill. The project has already begun, and here are the details from the Ohio Department of Transportation website:

  • Project Name US Route 36 Safety Improvement, Darke County (6028)
  • Community: Darke County
  • Project Description: The project will reconstruct and lower USR 36 just west of Arcanum-Bears Mill Road to improve visibility and intersection safety.
  • Due to the high accident rate at this intersection, the road grade will be lowered so visibility can be improved. According to accident, data, many of the crashes were caused by the hill just west of the intersection of U.S. 36 and Arcanum-Bears Mill Road causing drivers to not see other vehicles in time to turn onto U.S. 36. This project involves lowering the road to take out the hill that restricts driver’s view.
  • Project Sponsor: Ohio Department of Transportation
  • Community Economic Distress Factors: Darke County jobless rate is 11.8% and the median income is $39,307.
  • Economic Development Potential: US Route 36 is a considered one of the major, more traveled routes in Darke County. Improving the safety of this road will benefit all drivers including truckers hauling freight to and from several major manufacturers located in Darke County.
  • Jobs to be Created/Retained: create 12 jobs
  • Multi-modal Connectivity/Innovation Factor: In addition to reconstructing a safer intersection, the road will help connect motorists from and freight movement between communities and markets.
  • Work to Begin: 30- 60 days
  • Estimated Completion: 2009
  • Stimulus Investment: $150,000 Total Project Cost: $150,319

Two other projects have been authorized, but have not yet been started:

  • A $1.5 million road resurfacing on State Route 503 near Ithaca; and
  • A $500,000 road resurfacing on State Route 571 between Greenville and the county line near Laura.

In true government fashion, here is the description on the second project:
Darke County is home to several major manufacturers including Whirlpool, Mid Mark Corporation, the makers of medical and dental equipment and Greenville Technical, which manufacturers plastics for automobiles. State Route 571 is considered one of the major routes for the transportation of these goods to market.
Nice of them to screw up the names of two of our biggest companies.

UPDATE: A friend added this unsurprising comment via email:

The route 36 project was in the works before Obama and didn't create any jobs. It's the same people who worked for the company before they got the bid. The only work created was the sign spinning the story about the project.


  1. I was going down 36 today and noticed the big signs that display that this project is funded by the government. Are the signs necessary and how much did these signs cost tax payers. There are thousands of these improvement projects going on right now and Im sure every site has a fancy sign.

  2. Somebody wants to make sure they get proper credit for all this pork - and they don't care how much it costs ... ;)

  3. don't you just LOVE liberals?

  4. Well it must be evil, because according to some people, if it is good we wouldn't be getting it.

    My personal thoughts are that I like safe and well maintained roads. By chipping in on the taxes it saves me and everyone who uses the road money in fuel and automotive maintaince as a smooth well surfaced road provides less rolling resistance and wear on the suspension components of an automobile's undercarrige.

    As far as the signs, since there seems to be so much distrust of the government, you would never believe it was a stimulus project if they didnt put up a sign.


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