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E'town lands state money for Pine Valley Drive improvements

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Road will gain strip of sidewalk

By Marty Finley

Elizabethtown has received an unexpected gift from the state.

Executive Assistant Charlie Bryant this week announced State Rep. Jimmie Lee, D-Eliza­bethtown, has secured $230,000 to make improvements to Pine Valley Drive.

The money was located by Lee after he and the city identified the street as ripe for several key improvements.

Bryant said the money will allow the city to make repairs to the street to address low shoulders and some drainage problems, the specifics of which have not been released.

Bryant said the city also can perform some ditching upgrades and place sidewalks on at least one side of the street, which has become a pedestrian nightmare with increased traffic.

Mayor Edna Berger and other city officials visited Pine Valley Drive and spoke to residents, many of whom lobbied for sidewalks to give children and other pedestrians a place to walk.

As of now, Berger said, pedestrians are basically walking in the road with no other options available.

“This is gonna be huge,” Berger said.

Some council members asked Berger on Monday if sidewalks on both sides of the street were planned, but she said the city likely would have to invest some of its own resources into the project to make that possible.

Lee said he sought grant money through the state for the project because the city was in need of help and felt it would be an improvement for Hardin County.

“It’s a priority of the city,” he said.

Lee said he tries to work on behalf of the entire county and doesn’t worry if every project falls within his district.

“In some cases, I don’t even know where (the district lines) are,” Lee said.

Bryant said the funding gives Elizabethtown the option to push Pine Valley Drive to the forefront for improvements.

No timeline was released on when the work would start.

The announcement came as the council considers traffic calming measures on another street after a Meadow Lane resident warned of close calls for children and pedestrians from speeding drivers who use the street as a cut-through. The road is densely populated with a few dozen children calling it home.

A request has been made for speed islands that would force drivers to slow down.

Fire Chief Mike Hul­sey said he supports traffic calming measures, but the proposed islands would severely hinder the response time of emergency vehicles and take a toll on the department’s trucks.

Public Works Super­intendent Don Hill echoed Hulsey, saying his crew also would be affected.

The council said they would review the request and determine if the islands are feasible for Meadow Lane.

Marty Finley can be reached at 270-505-1762 or mfinley@thenewsenterprise.com.