Cherry Street topic of Rotary Clubs and Organizations The Vermillion Rotary Club held its weekly luncheon meeting on Tuesday, July 15, at the Neuharth Center on the USD campus. The meeting was opened by President Mary Edelen. The invocation was read by all of the members. Rotarian Roger Kozak gave a brief history concerning the beginning of Rotary, which started in 1905 in Chicago. The Vermillion chapter began in 1943 and its first president was I. D. Weeks. He also stated that Rotary International is the largest privately funded scholarship granting organization in the world. There are about 2 million members in almost 200 countries. This short history was followed by announcements and the introduction of guests. Rotarian John Prescott introduced the program for today concerning Road Construction in Vermillion. He introduced Ron Peterson, Yankton area engineer, Greg Branaugh, contractor, and Bill Welk, Vermillion city engineer, who did the actual presentation. The actual project goal is to replace approximately three miles of Cherry Street and all infrastructures in two phases during 2008 and 2009. This is a fairly massive construction project because it includes replacing the pavement as well as installing new signals, curb and gutter, driveways, lighting, and greenery. The primary reasons for the upgrade are safety and improved access management. Weekly open meetings to discuss progress and answer questions are held every Friday at 11 a.m. at the Cherry Street Grille. In addition, press releases are published weekly in the Plain Talk. Phase 1 of the project extends from Plum Street to the east where it meets Highway 50. The timeline for this phase is March 15 to Aug. 23. Because of weather early in the spring, the contractor feels that they are two weeks behind schedule, but he feels that the completion date for Phase 1 will hold. The finished road will have five lanes with the center lane becoming a turn lane. Phase 2 will be from the end of Phase 1 west to Cottage Street and will consist of three lanes with the center lane designated as a turn lane. The presenters were very appreciative of the active support of the Chamber of Commerce and of the merchants along the length of the project. They mentioned that the Department of Transportation has established a â�?�?Safe Travelâ�? USAWeb site which has live traffic information and pictures of projects from around the state. They ended their presentation by taking questions from the audience.
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