white patent dr martens Utica objects to next phase of heavy haul road

CLARK COUNTY The Utica Town Board has sent a letter to Indiana officials objecting to pending construction of the heavy haul road, which the board president says will negatively impact the small town.

At a meeting Dec. 12, the Utica Town Board voted 4 0 to object to road construction near town limits, which, when complete, will provide a material access road between the Port of Indiana Jeffersonville and River Ridge Commerce Center.

One section of the road was opened to traffic in late 2016, connecting Ind. 265 to River Ridge; the one under discussion now is to connect Ind. 265 to the port. It is expected to be constructed in 2019.

Following the meeting, Utica Town Council President Steve Long sent a letter to Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb and Indiana Department of Transportation Commissioner Joe McGuiness expressing concerns about the potential location of the road.

“Such a project crosses several areas near Utica Town boundaries,” the letter states. It also says the new Ind. 265 would serve as a better route, because it already connects with Port Road.

“It is unnecessary to spend millions of dollars to create a heavy industrial “Heavy Trucker Road” which can only bring unnecessary traffic, loads, transport, possible spills and all sorts of unknown problems for Utica,” the letter states.

“We respectfully ask that you support us to stop potential damage to our town.”

The letter also requests responses be sent to Utica, the Clark County Commissioners, Jeffersonville Mayor Mike Moore, River Ridge Executive Director Jerry Acey and the Indiana Port Commission.

Utica Town Board President Steve Long said in an interview Wednesday that the letter was necessary to make state officials aware of the town’s stance on the road; he said they haven’t been part of discussions for the INDOT led project.

“The heavy haul road is something that’s been talked about and talked about,” he said. “But Utica has been left out of it we’ve had no input.”

The letter states that INDOT has not brought Utica officials into the discussion or planning for the project nor has it contacted town officials regarding facilities at the junction of Old Salem Road and Ind. 265, including signage to show motorists that the first Indiana exit after the Lewis and Clark Bridge is into Utica.

“The prospect of heavy duty trucks losing direction and driving into Utica, break downs of such trucks, the hauling of noxious product or dangerous chemicals is all very dangerous and scary to Utica officials,” the letter states.

“Before matters . get more serious and/or escalate, we respectfully ask your office to suspend all work on [the heavy haul road].”

An email response from the INDOT commissioner’s office Thursday states that the new road, which would be built to withstand the heavy loads of steel and other raw materials traveling from the port, is a better alternative than the current route. Currently, trucks use Ind. 62 and Ind. 265, which adds time and expense because it’s an indirect route.

The road would provide a direct link between the port and River Ridge, “essentially eliminating any need for heavy trucks to potentially go through Utica using local roads,” the email states. “It would seem that the Council’s opposition to the Heavy Haul Road very much runs counter to their goal of reducing the likelihood of heavy trucks driving through town.”

Clark County Commissioners President Jack Coffman said Thursday that the heavy haul road is designed to help the town, not hurt it.

“The whole point is to avoid that traffic through Utica,” he said. “It’s going to be a lot less intrusive [than] . not having that road at all.”

The email from INDOT stated that Utica Town Board members were not present at either public meeting to discuss this portion of the project in January 2016 and April 2017.

“INDOT believes the Heavy Haul Road Corridor stands to have a transformative positive effect on job growth and investment in Clark County,” the email states. “INDOT has worked closely with the public and stake holders through the development of the project . the Utica Town Council has been invited to participate in the public meetings on the project and on the Community Advisory Committee, but to this point they have not chosen to participate.”

Acey declined to comment and Moore said the discussion should have come as no surprise to Utica.

“I think the town board of Utica is living in a fairy tale for them to say they were unaware of the path and to not have knowledge of this,” Moore said. “[I’m] really troubled how Utica seems to be trying to stop growth in Clark County and I think it’s a shame.”
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dr martens serena boot Mark Stewart makes good on fortune

Mark Stewart, DDS, has been practicing out of his North 21st Street office since 1993.(Photo: Sara C. Tobias/The Advocate)Buy PhotoNEWARK The year was 1984. Mark Stewart had just graduated from dental school. He knew he wanted to practice in Newark. He just didn’t know how to make that happen. So he came up with an unlikely, spur of the moment plan.

“When I was here one weekend I was downtown and they had phone booths back then,” he recalled. “I grabbed the yellow pages and I grabbed the page of dentists. There were 20 some dentists in there and I sent out resumes to everybody.”

“Only one responded,” he added, “and that was Bill Myers, who was 76 years old. He was ready to hang it up and I was ready to get started.”

So began the dental practice of Dr. Mark Stewart.

“It was just one of those things,” he said. “It was serendipitous the way it worked out the way it did.”

Stewart, now 59, grew up in Washington Courthouse in Fayette County.

“When I was a kid I always had an interest in anatomy and the sciences,” he remembered. “And I happened to like our family dentist. He was kind of the inspiration to get me going in this direction. So I put the blinders on and never strayed from that decision. I was in high school when I made the decision that’s what I wanted to do.”

He graduated from Washington High School in 1976, Miami University in 1980 and finally the OSU College of Dentistry.

Buy PhotoMark Stewart, center, DDS, with hygienists Ginger O’Reilly,
dr martens flats Mark Stewart makes good on fortune
left, and Cindi Barber in one of the exam rooms at the dental practices North 21st Street location. (Photo: Sara C. Tobias/The Advocate)

Then came Newark. His first office (Myers’ old office) was at the corner of Mt. Vernon and Fairfield. He soon hired a dental hygienist named Missy Link. They’ve now worked together 31 years.

“It’s gone fast,” Link said. “We’ve been through a lot together. We were both single when we started, we both got married, had children and by now we’ve easily seen three generations of patients.”

“He was in my wedding,” she added. “He’s very much like my brother. You don’t come across that very often.”

A year later Stewart hired Ginger O’Reilly, another dental hygienist.

“Thirty years sounds like a long time to be someplace but I couldn’t have picked a better place,” she said. “I think it’s kind of unique for all of us to be together so long.”

Like her long time friend and fellow hygienist, O’Reilly added, “He is like my older brother. We’ve grown up together. We’re a real family here.”

“I look at these gals,” Stewart responded, “not as employees but as true friends. We’ve spent half our lives together.”

In 1992, Stewart bought an abandoned building at a sheriff’s sale on North 21st Street. Before that, it was the site of several different restaurants. He’s been there since 1993.

“It’s been a very stimulating profession,” he summarized. “It’s never boring. I haven’t had one day out of 33 years that’s been the same as any other day.”

Aces of Trades is a weekly series focusing on people and their jobs whether they’re unusual jobs, fun jobs or people who take ordinary jobs and make them extraordinary.
dr martens flats Mark Stewart makes good on fortune