John McCane, Director of the Rush County Economic and Community Development Corporation (ECDC) announced today that Indiana Department of Transportation and the U.S. Department of Transportation have concurred with a request for “Functional Classification” revisions in and around Rushville. The classification revision request was made by the City of Rushville, the Rush County Commissioners, and local economic development leaders. As part of the request, the local leaders requested that County Road 200 North be classified as a “major urban collector” from Spencer Street to Fort Wayne Road. Although most of Spencer Street South of CR 200 N was already designated as a major urban collector, there was a one-mile section that was also reclassified. INDOT and the U.S. DOT also accepted a proposed extension of Cherry Street from Conrad Harcourt Way north to CR 200 N.
“This is extremely good news for Rushville.” McCane said. “This opens up funding opportunities to help Rushville and Rush County develop a direct route between our two industrial parks.”
According to McCane, classifying the proposed Cherry Street extension to CR 200 N and the re-classification of 200 North as major collectors helps to move this project forward.
“I am confident that there will be an enormous positive impact that this proposed development will create,” McCane added.
According to McCane, a proposed Cherry Street extension has been considered since the City sold land for the development of what is now the Comfort Inn and through each administration since then. In addition to improving drainage infrastructure and traffic flow, the projects will allow economic development officials the ability to better market business and industrial sites to prospective new companies. Transportation infrastructure is routinely at the top of the list of needs of companies seeking new sites to move to or on which to build.
Rushville Mayor Mike Pavey echoed the positive aspects of having these roads reclassified.
“I think this is great news. This illustrates that the state and federal transportation departments are recognizing projects that locally, we believe are priorities,” Mayor Pavey said.
The Mayor said he believes that this is a great first step, but the work is just beginning.
“This project will solve a number of existing issues, but more importantly it will open the community up to numerous growth opportunities,” Mayor Pavey said.
“This effort to reclassify roads in our existing system and adding the proposed Cherry Street extension has far-reaching opportunities to help abate real storm water drainage issues on the north side of Rushville,” Chairman of the Rush County Commissioners Bruce Levi said.
The Rush County Commissioners endorsed the city’s request for the functional classification revisions.
The collaboration of city and county leaders aided in the federal government’s decision to approve the revisions. According to a letter from the U.S. Department of Transportation, it reads that, “The Division reviewed the information provided, and appreciates the letters of support signed by the Mayor of Rushville, the Rush County Board of Commissioners as well as the Rush County Highway Superintendent. This provides assurance that the requested change in functional classification had been coordinated among the transportation partners in the County.”
According to Mayor Pavey, the City intends to submit the project for INDOT approval as early as this year. If approved, the opportunity for federal matching funds will become available to help with the construction of the new roadway and improvements.
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