City aldermen tweak design of Crawford Road

City aldermen tweak design of Crawford Road
Two proposed designs that chart the path of the Crawford Road extension in Vermillion were the topics of discussion at a Monday special meeting of the Vermillion City Council.

By the end of the meeting, alderman had given their preference to a layout that more closely follows the natural contours of a ravine that runs from Crawford Road's present intersection with Crestview south down a bluff to Burbank Road.

This option minimizes the need to cut into the bluff, is more favorable to the trees growing in that area, and is more cost efficient.

The council also agreed, at the urging of Virginia and Jeffrey Johnson, who live at 1143 Valley View, to change Crawford's design by straightening a curve about a third of the way up from its proposed intersection with Burbank Road.

This change would move the roadbed farther to the east to avoid the Johnsons' property as much as possible.

It also likely will increase the total cost of the street project. "Anything you move to the east is going to increase the cost," said City Engineer Bill Welk, "because you're dealing with more excavation, more retaining wall and more tree loss."

Virginia Johnson argued that the design option being considered was unfair, in part, because it calls on her and her husband to sacrifice more property than other nearby homeowners in the area.

She told aldermen the design being considered would require that not only the 32-foot wide street, but also the 16 feet of right-of-way on each side of the road, would rest entirely on their property.

"It seems like this is a bit unfair," Virginia Johnson said. She asked that a portion of the road be moved at least 10 feet and possibly as much as 16 feet to the east.

Members of the city council apparently agree. Even after being told of increased costs, they decided to approve the change in Crawford Road's plans.

Road construction alone was estimated two years ago to cost $650,000, Welk said. Moving the road further east may increase that price by $50,000. It has been proposed that the project be designated to receive the city's share of federal and state funds from the Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP).

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