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Saturday, July 5th, 2008
By William Kincaid
Upgrade to begin for intersection
  A $77,000 infrastructure project slated to begin in two weeks along East Wayne Street and Fountain Avenue should improve both pedestrian and motorist safety, Celina Planning and Community Development Director Kent Bryan says.
It is a project that school officials, the city and the industry on that corner support, they have indicated.
City administrators recently awarded a contract to PAB Construction, Celina, to push back the northeast curb at the intersection, which is near Celina East Elementary School and the high school football field.
"(We) are increasing the radius to allow for bus and truck traffic to make the curve on Wayne safer," Bryan said, pointing out that new sidewalks also will be installed in the area. "We're not really doing a lot of road work."
The project is expected to be completed by mid-August before students return to school, Bryan said. He doesn't expect the road to be closed at any time. Cones and other forms of traffic control will be used, he added.
By pushing the curb back, trucks and buses heading east on Wayne Street will have more room to maneuver, he said.
Sometimes larger vehicles end up in the west lane of Wayne Street when rounding the curve, according to Bryan and Safety Service Director Jeff Hazel.
"We're happy because it will make it a lot easier to make the turns there with the buses," Celina Board of Education President Ken Fetters said, adding it also will improve safety.
Hazel said the improvements near the two roads - which were both constructed as residential streets - also will provide better truck access for Thieman Tailgates Inc., 600 E. Wayne Street.
The city got serious about the safety project after Thieman's second facility expansion last fall, which increased truck traffic, Bryan said. The expansion, which the city is thrilled about, created new jobs but also increased truck traffic.
Money for the project comes exclusively from a Tax Increment Financing (TIF) fund from Thieman's property, he continued.
Bryan said a power pole near the curb was taken down two weeks ago in preparation of the project. He also said Celina school officials will move the fence at the football field further away from the street to give students more room when waiting on the traffic light to change.
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