7th Street Closed

Terre Haute, IN - Work began today on a road that feeds a lot of traffic into downtown Terre Haute. 

The cost of the project is just over $450,000, but is also causing residents and business owners to pay the price of convience. 

7th St. in Terre Haute has both literal and figurative ties to the city's history, as the inner urban rail systerm ran through there nearly a century ago. 

Unfortunately, those literal ties, in the form of old railroad ties, are starting to cause issuses with road conditions as they rot away.

"That space where the railroad tie used to be is now just an empty void," said City of Terre Haute Director of Inspection Brad Utz. "And then things settle, and that's why it feels like a washboard when you drive it, and that's why the pavement's falling apart.

To fix these issues, the city began road work Monday on the stretch of 7th St. from Hulman St. to Voorhees St., which means locals are seeing a lot of orange. 

Utz says the road closings bring mixed responses from residents and business owners who live and work in the area, but that most are understanding.

"I think that most people understand that this is a project that has to be done, I mean 7th Street has been bad for a while, and it's not getting any better."

Garvin and Lidster Auto Service is located on 7th and Voorhees, and while one of the shop's entrances is blocked off now, owner Ted Shanks isn't worried about business.

"We're gonna have access off of Voorhees the whole time, all the way up to 7th St.," said Shanks. "So people can find a way to get here and I'm really not too concerned about it."

And Shanks is aware that the long-term benefits of improved road conditions outweigh the short term inconveniences.

"People gripe about it, but you know, we gotta have roads, we gotta have roads we can drive on, without truckholes," said Shanks. "So we gotta endure that to appreciate the good roads I guess." 

For those driving through the area, there are detour signs to follow, and folks should be aware that staggered construction barricades do not mean that the road is open. 

There will be future road work down 7th St. from Voorhees St. to Wheeler Ave., although a specific start date for that phase was not given. 

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