To the editor:
A recent article in The Tribune about how the projected bypass plan will require extensive construction at the airport revealed the little-known plan for a costly boondoggle called the Burkart bypass.
The article quoted a cost of $20 million (not counting the more than $1 million that a runway relocation will cost), but it will probably take creative accounting to pull that off. It will be a good bet that the true cost will be three times that by the time it is completed.
Currently, we have additional surcharges to our sewer and water bills because the city can’t manage to cover the cost of the storm sewers or fire protection. Now, we are going to spend many millions to relieve traffic problems, but relief, if any, will be minimal at best.
The proposed bypass goes from the intersection of Airport Road and U.S. 50 through current airport industrial park roads (busy in the morning and afternoon from factory and school traffic) across the county side to the intersection of Burkart and Tipton, one of the busiest intersections in Seymour.
To use the bypass, traffic on Tipton going east to west will have to make a left turn at Burkart, further complicating traffic at this intersection. A bypass is supposed to bypass busy traffic, not add to it. The Burkart intersection was maybe a bypass location on the edge of town when it was built, but Seymour has expanded eastward, and now, Burkart is deep into the commercial area of the city.
The proposed bypass will bypass only a little more than 2 miles of Tipton Street and only seven of the 12 Tipton stoplights west of the interstate. Will motorists or truckers choose to drive an extra 5 or 6 miles over nonlimited access streets and roads, probably taking longer and burning more fuel than just going the 2.3 miles through town?
And all this doesn’t address the cost and problems the proposed bypass causes for the airport and its primary runway, and to be sure, there will be other unintended consequences to be dealt with.
Traffic relief for Tipton is a good objective, but this proposed project is an expensive nonsolution.