A long-desired plan, and one of Mayor Mike Moore’s projects highlighted to use tax-increment financing dollars, needs another look, according to the Jeffersonville City Council.
Councilman Dennis Julius asked that an economic-impact study be conducted on the 10th Street corridor before the city commits any more dollars to the project. The city has funding to pay for the widening of 10th Street through property acquisition and utility relocation in 2015.
“I have heard from more people than just the merchants that they can’t wait for 10th Street to be done for all the new business to come in,” Julius said. “And that is so far from the reality of what’s going to happen.”
He pointed to a similar road resurfacing and modernization project that took place on Eastern Boulevard in Clarksville and cost the town $5.2 million.
“[Clarksville] spent a ton of money and it really has not encouraged much new business, if any,” Julius said. “What I would like to do, if we’re going to spend all this money on 10th Street, let’s go the extra step and see what it’s going to take for us to encourage business to come into the 10th Street corridor.”
But Moore said the plan that he has pushed does not need additional studies.
“There is no need to have an impact study,” Moore said. “If anybody has to question why there is reason to do 10th Street they need to have a discussion with the 10th Street business owners. I know there’s 30,000 cars a day [on 10th Street] and I know it’s a nightmare to try and turn into a business.”
The plan for 10th Street is to widen the road to two lanes in each direction, with a center turn lane from Penn Street and Dutch Lane to Reeds Lane. The goal the city had set was to have the road construction complete before the new Ohio River Bridges Project is completed. The bridges project is expected to add traffic to the corridor, as it will be a main pathway between the east-end bridge and Interstate 65 through Jeffersonville. Traffic projections forecasted out to 2033 have shown the number of cars on 10th Street will nearly double.