Convention center moves forward after vote

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After a delay the convention center in downtown Terre Haute will move forward. This after the city council voted 8 to 1 to close a section of 8th Street.  

The votes are in, the Terre Haute City Council has voted in favor of closing a portion of 8th Street Between Wabash Avenue and Cherry Street.  

“It’s wonderful,” Dave Patterson said. “The fact that we’ve grown for 24 straight years here in the city and the county. Tourism is alive and well.”  

In a 8 to 1 vote the ordinance passed with councilman Todd Nation voting no, those in favor say it will help the city in the long run.       

“We never want to go away from that event base market, that’s been our strength,” Patterson said. “We’ve simply never had, and when I say never, had a community owned facility. There’s a number of events that will grow and prosper because of this facility.”  

Back in January, the Indianapolis firm A & F Engineering released a traffic study that showed that the closure would have little effect on traffic.  

However, the council raised concerns that the study had not taken into account what traffic would be like on a day when both the convention center and Hulman Center had an event.  

The firm then collected additional traffic data during the celebration of Indiana State’s 1979 Basketball Team.  

They found that though Hulman Center does create traffic, the revised study showed that traffic would not be a huge issue. 

Council President Martha Crossen said the extra data helped her make a decision.  

“Yes, I think that was helpful,” Martha Crossen said. “I appreciated that they did go to that extra effort and you know that it showed us that when we have an event at the Hulman center when it’s not at the peak hour of traffic it will it will still be handle in a fairly easy way.” 

The council also decided to hold off on making the decision to turn 7th and 8th streets into two-way roads until more studies can be conducted.  

Overall, Crossen feels the city is headed in the right direction.  

“But I think in the end, in a few years we will probably not remember that 8th street was open,” Crossen said.  

Now that it is passed bidding on the project will begin in early March with a target construction starting late spring.  

However, there is no set date on when that portion of the street will be closed. 

The decision to change to 7th and 8th street could be decided at the city council on May 9th.

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