Traffic is flowing a little differently around the Boonville square.
Chris Coffey with Midwest Engineering said that the traffic pattern coming into the square on Locust is the same, just shifted to the right. There is no longer parking available on either side of Locust. The right turn/straight lane at Locust and Second streets is now in the lane that was dedicated to parking for the Post Office, the 1901 Emporium and Vapor Bank. The former right turn/straight lane is now the left turn/straight lane. While that sounds confusing, it's really just shifted over a lane.
"We're shifting over," Coffey said. "There used to be parking along (the south) side, where the Post Office is. We're trying to shift over and eliminate (parking) over here (on the north side of Locust) so when we start working over here, we'll have that available."
In the intersection of Locust and Second streets, the two lanes jog left, making the middle lane a straight/right turn lane onto Third Street. The left lane remains a straight/left turn lane.
"It's just a matter of shifting them over and shifting them back," Coffey said. "We've got two open lanes and depending on whether you're going to be turning right or left, you can. Basically, lanes shift over and shift back. It does sound simple, but it's very confusing for people who are looking at it for the first time and for people who have driven that way for the last 20 years."
Eventually, the square will be all one-way. Coffee said in the meantime, he will be installing more signage and additional barrels to help motorists navigate the area.
"This is the pattern we're going to have until this project is pretty much complete," he said. "It will be here for awhile, probably until October."
The Boonville Indian Artifact Show at the Warrick 4-H Center has become an annual event in Southern Indiana each March. As the show approaches its 55th continuous year, I have researched some of its history. I have went back to the Central States Archaeological Journals of the twentieth century and found reports of the early shows reported in their pages.
Our first official Central States show met on June 6, 1965 at the Boonville High School Youth Center Cafeteria and was hosted by Revis Campbell and G.A. Nance. There were 25 tables of material from many well-known collectors of that era.
However, in a conversation I once had with Mr. Campbell, Revis told me of a show in Boonville the previous year. It was not an official show, but was sort of the beginning for the Boonville Show. It was held at the old Boonville Library in 1964. At that meeting, Mayor Robert Millis recommended the show be moved to the Boonville High School Cafeteria for 1965.
Revis Campbell and Kenneth Hunley co-hosted when the show was moved to the Warrick 4-H Center in the early 1970s. Many excellent displays have been exhibited throughout the years.
Revis hosted the show until 1985 when, at age 87, he decided David Lutz, Edd Frisse, and I would begin co-hosting the event. As hosts of the show, we try to carry on the same standard the hosts have set in the past.
The show has grown over the years. We now set up approximately 100 tables. It is still a down-home country show. We try to make sure folks are treated well. We hope they all have a good day and will want to return next year.
Dave, Edd and I have hosted the show for 35 years now, and Revis had the show 20 years. Our 2019 show will be Sunday, March 24 at the Warrick 4-H Center Boonville. Lunch will be available by Boy Scout Troop 161. This is a great educational format for everyone. Doors open at 8 a.m. The show lasts until 3 p.m. Admission is free.
-By Bill Clark
Downtown Boonville merchants got a little insight into the ongoing construction project around the square Tuesday morning.
Mayor Charlie Wyatt offered a little insight into the sidewalk construction timeline and asked merchants for input and concerns.
“I know there was some concerns about their businesses and the affect it would have on them, but we’re trying to do some proactive things,” Wyatt said.
Wyatt said the west side of the square was the learning curve for the other three sides. There were issues, but he feels that the input provided by merchants and the contractors will help the rest of the project go even more smoothly.
Julie Reeder of Commander’s Grill said that one of her biggest concerns was seeing Shabby Sheek Boutique’s struggle. She said it was hard to tell if they were open during the construction on the west side of the square.
“That was one of the concerns we addressed with them,” Mark Mayer, owner of Shabby Sheek, said. “There was orange fencing everywhere saying, ‘Sidewalk Closed,’ but then ‘Pedestrian traffic this way.’ The recommendation we made to them… I told them to have some kind of walkway that is definitely visible.”
Both Mayer and Reeder said they would do whatever it takes to keep their business going and see a great longterm benefit to the project.
“Right now with the way it is, people will come in anyway. It doesn’t affect the nighttime business much because there’s more parking. But during the day, if the weather is bad and they think they’ll have to walk, they’re just not.”
Reeder said that she’s noticed that county workers and contractors are parking on the square, which takes parking away from customers.
“That hurt us,” Reeder said. “There were three big county trucks out there last week. That’s three customers.”
Josh Armstrong, Director of the Downtown Evansville Economic Improvement District, and Kim Howard, Regional Director of Indiana Small Business Development Center Southwest, met with merchants and offered a hand in keeping businesses going during the sidewalk project. Both organizations have resources available to help businesses transition through the construction.
The next area slated for construction is the south side of the square, which should begin next week and be complete in July.
The latest information provided by the city shows a final completion date of Nov. 10.
EB62 & Second Street - Start Wednesday, March 20
EB62 & Third Street - Start Monday, May 20
WB62 & Third Street - Start Tuesday, July 16
WB62 & Second Street - Start Wednesday, Aug. 28
Final completion date: Sunday, Nov. 10
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