Letter: Yellowwood Road work not appearing as advertised

To the editor:

Re: the Yellowwood Road Improvement project, things are not as rosy as Mike Magner seems to believe. DNR Forestry previously promised we locals that the new road and creek would be “in harmony.” The Jackson Creek Valley north of me is now one giant, muddy morass, but I guess that technically, it’s one homogeneous MESS.

The recent rains have sent countless yards of good topsoil into our recently dredged Yellowwood Lake. (Observe the recently sloughed creek banks for the entire length of the construction.) The cleared 50-foot right-of-way has now become 50 yards in places. The entire valley has been cleared of trees, wall-to-wall. All the trees and vegetation holding the creek banks are gone.

What happened to all the promises that were made to us? My understanding was that the Indiana Department of Transportation was trying to stay away from the creek, not obliterate it. Millions of dollars have already been spent on this complete boondoggle.

An alternative plan that would have cost (only) $300,000 was rejected and hidden from public perusal by INDOT and Forestry higher-ups. This alternative plan would have tamed the creek but left the road and valley intact.

The intimate nature of the travel experience on the old road is forever gone. Come see for yourself, my fellow Brown Countians. We got what we deserved. (Also, according to workers on the site, the hundreds of trees removed were given to the subcontractor for free.)

We soon will have a boulder-strewn creek, with a Western look. Isn’t Brown County beautiful enough as it is? If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

Charlie Cole, on the road formerly known as Yellowwood

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