Residents' Road Concerns

The work involves the development of a new portion of Kewanee Church Road. Work there started last week. County officials say the purpose for the work is strictly for safety reasons. However, some residents don't believe it.

The stretch of roadway in question is less than half a mile long. In fact, county officials say it encompasses less than 300 yards. It involves a steep curve in Kewanee Church Road that soon could be bypassed by a new portion of roadway that's being built just yards away.

Many residents in the area we spoke with say one problem they have with the project is that it's not needed.

"You can see all the way around this curve here. We talked to the supervisors over the buses last night. He said it's not a blind curve because he knows this road himself,' says Arthur Tooles.

'This road is an old Indian trail and it should be preserved, not abolished,' says James Vickrey.

Touting how safe the current road is, residents opposing the change contend that the new road would be the opposite.

'It's really going to hurt because it drops down a hill there,' says Tooles.

'A bus or either a truck would flip on that cliff,' says Stanley Graham.

Because they feel that the current stretch of roadway is safe, opponents for the work say the project will only benefit one landowner.

'We're taxpayers, but we've got to pay to change the road,' says Tooles.

'That landlocks me killing my property value and I think that's just wrong,' says Donald Jones.

'I was approached by a landowner who would donate the land and dirt to the county to build a new road,' says District Two Supervisor, Wayman Newell. 'The bank for the new road would have to be shaved and taken out.'

In an effort to stop the work, a petition has been started by some residents. So far, almost 200 signatures have been collected. In light of the concerns being raised, Supervisor Newell says he will examine the issue further before work proceeds. Meanwhile, he insist that as long as he's in office, even if the new road opens, both portions of roadway will be open and maintained by the county. However, this is something residents opposing the new road say they doubt.

Supervisor Newell says although land and dirt for the project were donated by the landowner, the county will pay for the labor and asphalt. Residents opposing the project say they will officially present their concerns to supervisors at the board's meeting next week.

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  • by sandy Location: kewanee on Jun 9, 2012 at 07:49 AM
    I think its a real shame when people use this as an issue when the rest of us know you already had issues with MR Pigford long before this started!!!!!!!!!
  • by Not Surprised on May 2, 2012 at 07:06 AM
    A waste indeed, this money could be better spent on additions to the horse barn, or stupervisor vacations!!!
  • by A Developer on May 1, 2012 at 09:53 AM
    This situation equates to one of two possible intents. One, the development of the new portion of the road is intended on replacing the existing road. In this case, the old road will be abandoned and the existing landowners will be denied the right-of-emanate domain prodeceeding through lack of legal procedure - a violation of law. The second is that the old road will not be abandoned. In this case, a new road is being developed and must conform to the laws concerning construction and acceptance of a road developed on private property for development or benefit of the property owner. The landowner simply "donating" the land and dirt for the project falls far short of the requirements set forth as far as the property owner securing the utiites and water improvements, compaction test, surveys, legal fees, etc. If this is the case, the county is also outside of its authority by accepting any property not conforming to the criteria set forth - also a violation of law.
  • by Anonymous on May 1, 2012 at 09:00 AM
    we can name it the Wasted Tax Cutoff road, not needed in a time when the county is so broke....suposedly.
  • by Kewanee Citizen Location: Kewanee on May 1, 2012 at 05:09 AM
    Thank you WTOK for letting the rest of Lauderdale County know what kind of back door politics Jerry Pigford (Kewanee 1 Stop) and Wayman Newell are doing. As you saw for yourself while you were filming Jerry tried to run you off the road. This just proves that he is not in this for school bus safety. This is disgusting! Thanks Wayman, what a great representative you are!
  • by Cynthia Location: Kewanee on Apr 30, 2012 at 10:10 PM
    I think it's rather odd that the land owner is not being named in this dispute. He doesn't even live on this road. Although he has to travel this road to get to his home, the curve's safety only became an issue after he purchasd the said property. I have lived on Kewanee Church Road for over 45 years and to my knowledge there has never been an accident in this curve; however there are, in my opinion, five other areas on this road that pose more of a safety hazard than this. My question to Mr. Newell is; "Are you going to take care of them as well?" By the way, I am a school bus driver, I travel this road twice a day everyday and I can assure you that this curve IS NOT as much a safety hazard as some of the other roads I travel; Johnson Loop Rd. , Greenhill RD. and let us not forget the curve on KOA RD, the one near the scrap yard. When I mentioned these roads to Mr. Newell, his only response was "that's not my district". It may not be his district but it's still OUR tax dollars.
    • reply
      by Kewanee Citizen on May 2, 2012 at 06:17 PM in reply to Cynthia
      Very true Cynthia. Jerry Pigford should be named in this matter. He asked the two adjacent property owners to sell their land and the declined. He then told them that he would have the county move the road, which Wayman has been more than eager to do. Jerry has been in Kewanee for about 20 years traveling the same road, but all of the sudden he purchased this property and is concerned for the kids. __! Thanks Lauderdale County supervisors for being such leaders in our community and protecting the tax payers and their hard earned dollars!
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