You wouldn’t think such a little stretch of road would be such a headache, but leave it to St. Clair Township leaders to give taxpayers migraines twice over the same little strip of Mine Haul Road.
Flashback to 2012: St. Clair Township Highway Commissioner Mark Burk hacks off a bunch of people with his scheme to save about $10,000 a year by closing the little arc of Mine Haul Road between Frank Scott Parkway West and Illinois 158. He wants to split maintenance costs with the composting facility on the stretch. They say no, so no savings.
He closes the Illinois 158 end of the stretch anyway, they create a berm to stop traffic from using it and he gives up the land to the state.
No real savings, no convenient intersection that is safer accessing Illinois 158 than the blind curve at Frank Scott and no detour during the many accidents at the Illinois 158-Frank Scott intersection.
Fast forward to 2016: St. Clair Township Highway Commissioner “Skip” Kernan wants to spend $125,000 reopening the intersection. He can’t just remove the dirt berm and put down some oil and chip, but needs to install a left turn lane from Illinois 158 onto Mine Haul Road.
Talk about a silk purse from a sow’s ear.
All that money for a work-around solution when the real problem is the Frank Scott intersection. That is the blind-curve intersection that needs fixing.
The township did a disservice by closing the Mine Haul intersection. Now the taxpayers are getting dinked for a reopened and upgraded Mine Haul intersection by the guy who hired five people when there was only money budgeted for 3.5.
Maybe this is a case of leave bad enough alone.