Mt. Vernon Register-News

October 8, 2013

Make intersection safer

By TESA GLASS
tesa.glass@register-news.com

---- — MT. VERNON — As the city waits on the state to approve designs and completes traffic studies necessary for the 42nd Street and Veterans Memorial Drive intersection, Gail (Roane) Farnham asked the council to take interim steps to make the area safer."Something else needs to be done to make it safer," Farnham said. "It's personal for us. ... I think it should be personal for you."Farnham's daughter was involved in a serious vehicle accident at the intersection five weeks ago."She was going southbound and stopped at the intersection to go east," Farnham explained. "She was T-boned by a large pickup truck going through the intersection already going east. He never attempted to stop, didn't see the stop sign. He was from out of town and unfamiliar with the area. .. It's a miracle she is here now."Her daughter had to be extricated from her vehicle, suffered many bruises and small injuries in addition to eight fractured ribs, a lacerated spleen and a collapsed lung. She is still experiencing health problems from the accident and has not returned to work, Farnham reported."Since the accident, I have heard from numerous people who say they know someone else who had an accident there," Farnham said. "I know a doctor who said they dread going through that intersection. We are proud of Mt. Vernon ... We understand that government can't work quickly. But as the Interstate exists re-open and the school locates out there, the intersection will become busier. We know you are working on getting a stop light and there will be a wait to get the stoplight. ... Look at ways to do as much as you can as quick as you can to make it safer." A warrant study required by the Illinois Department of Transportation has been completed, but the study did not show the amount of traffic needed for a light under IDOT standards. However, the city council has previously determined to move forward with placing a stoplight at the intersection which has seen numerous accidents since the opening of Good Samaritan Regional Health Center. A second study required by IDOT is underway and expected to be completed by the end of the month, according to City Engineer Brad Ruble. In other council business undertaken on Monday:A bid was accepted from IC Enterprises, Inc., in the amount of $248,208 for a new roof for the former Armory/Market building; Permission was granted to bypass formal bid procedures to purchase basketball lighting at Dawson Park through the TIPS/TAPS Interlocal purchasing system;Permission was given for the closing of Jordan Street from Seventh to Eighth street on Dec. 7 from 4 a.m. to 4 p.m. for Market Day; A first reading was held to add a restaurant beer/wine liquor license for a restaurant to be located downtown;The sale of two surplus properties was approved with one on North 12th Street to Central Christian Church and the second on South 1201 Veterans Memorial Drive to Kenneth Aydt for $24,000. The new owners will be required to demolish existing structures on the properties;A first reading was held on an ordinance to grant easements to Ameren on city property on South 10th Street; An amendment to an agreement with Horner & Shifrin was approved for the Phase I Environmental Study required by IDOT for the Perkins Avenue re-alignment project; andThe appointment of Gary Evans to the City Housing Authority Board was approved. Evans will replace Wilma Harpole, who is retiring after 23 years on the board.