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Taylor Countians need to support widening of U.S. 50

As anyone who has ever driven U.S. Rt. 50 into Taylor County knows, you practically need motion-sickness pills to complete the journey.

The road's two-lane, wildly curvy status makes it one of the region's more difficult and dangerous places to travel. The addition of highway speeds to the mix makes for an even more exciting trip.

We believe that kind of excitement should be reserved for the amusement park. For that reason, we support a state Department of Highways proposal to widen the highway to four lanes from the Harrison County line to U.S. 119 in Grafton.

While safety is a primary consideration, it is also clear that giving Taylor County a cleaner connection to I-79 would be of great benefit to the area economy. This economic boost is a necessity for Grafton, which has been suffering from a miniature form of urban blight for a number of years.

The benefits are so clear, we encourage Taylor County leaders and residents to support this proposal, even though it will cost some of them their home or business site. The highway department estimates the $75-$88 million project will affect between 66 and 123 residences and 21 businesses, depending on the route chosen.

Properties will be lost, but the county will benefit in myriad ways.

Those who would like to know more about the proposal have an opportunity today, when highway representatives will present information about various route possibilities and accept input and questions from area residents.

The hearing is 4-7 p.m. today at Taylor County Middle School on Valley Falls Road in Grafton.

We urge Taylor Countians to attend and do their part to help get the paving machines rolling.

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