Anderson Downtown Neighbors Association

By ADNA - Site Update January 5, 2014
3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th 11th 12th 13th 14th
Morton Lincoln Chase Brown Delaware Jackson Meridian Main Hendricks Other

ADNA Homepage

Home Page

NEW! Latest Additions

Then & Now

Neighborhood Pictures & Information

About ADNA

Historic Districts

Photo Credits

Links & Resources

Email Us



Then and Now
Brown-Delaware Expressway Details

By reprinting this editorial and information on the Brown-Delaware Expressway it is not ADNA's intent to rehash past transgressions but to prevent further erosion of the historic character of Anderson by remembering the ill-conceived "improvements" of the past when present day decisions are made.

Note: Comments in italics have been added by ADNA for clarity.

A September 11, 1974 Anderson Newspaper Editorial concerning the Brown-Delaware Expressway.

THE DICTIONARY defines progress as "A movement forward". If the Brown-Delaware Expressway is the Rock administration's (Anderson Mayor at the time) idea of progress, the city of Anderson could do without a lot of it. Scheduled to cost more than a million dollars, the seven-block long, winding street will be only a three-lane route limited in its use to southbound traffic.

CITY OFFICIALS have told the public there is nothing new about the idea. It was proposed some 40 years ago in a study conducted for the federal government. That may be well and good - but it doesn't mean that such a project is good for the city. As plans stand today, the expressway will stop at Seventh Street on the north. Just how traffic will get to it from Jackson along the inadequate Seventh Street and Delaware Street we have not been told. Originally, the expressway was to have been extended north and east to connect with Jackson somewhere between Fifth and Sixth Streets.

THAT IDEA, however, has been scrapped because the city has run out of funds to finance it. And funds are not the only problem that has a arisen as a result of the construction work. Homes have been demolished - some of them relatively new - as has a church and a large brick business building. All this costs money - tax money. Dozens of large, beautiful trees were destroyed to make room for the street and many residents who have spent years paying for their homes have seen their shrubs and lawns fall victim to the bulldozer. In one instance, the expressway will cut through a lawn and be located within a matter of inches from the corner of a residence. The three-block stretch from Tenth to Thirteenth Street is destroying the value of residential property because the thoroughfare will be located only a few feet from the front doors of houses along Delaware.

SOME SAY ALL this is the price of progress and we fully realize that some inconvenience is necessary if we are to move forward as a city. The illegality and stupidity of the methods used in the construction of the Brown-Delaware Expressway, however, overrides any excuses the so-called planners and engineers might offer. When property owners expressed disapproval of the project, they were told by a city spokesman that no construction work would be started until after Sept. 1. Such was not the case. When work was halted on the downtown mall (Meridian St. from 9th to 12th) by federal bureaucratic bungling, the contractor moved in the next day - in early August - and started sawing down trees. Property owners were given no advance warning whatsoever and many of them had not even been contacted by officials regarding the purchase of the right-of-way.

WHEN WORK WAS started the contract for the work had not been approved by the City Council. The contractor. in effect, was demolishing houses, removing trees and destroying lawns before the elected representatives of the public had been asked to vote on the contract. Preliminary plans called for the expressway to be constructed through a portion of the ground on which Seventh Street School is located. Apparently no city official explored the alternatives there. When residents opposed the destruction of the school, they were told by the School Board there was no money available to build a new edifice and it would be at least three years before funds would be available even if inflation were halted immediately.

MANY PEOPLE have been wondering if a north-south street is necessary and if so, was any thought given to locating it along the route of John Street a few blocks west. We also wonder why, if the project was proposed 40 years ago, it has not been given very serious consideration by any administration since then until the incompetent and unqualified "experts" of the Rock administration decided to start in such an illegal manner without prior warning to the residents and property owners affected. It is even more questionable just why the mayor and the city attorney left for Japan just a few days before the City Council was asked to approve the contract after work had already been underway for more than five weeks.

THE QUESTIONS surrounding the entire action are so numerous it would be difficult to ask them all. It has been reported, however, that $284,000 in Redevelopment funds was spent to acquire some 11 pieces of property. One parcel cost $82,000 and the tenants were paid an additional $18,500 to move their business offices. No arrangements have been made with property owners along Delaware Street for the purchase of portions of their front lawns or damages for destroying the value of their property.

MONEY FOR construction and the purchase of portions of lots along existing right-of-way will be paid from city funds. The point is that regardless of whether federal or city funds are used, it is all tax money coming out of the taxpayers' pockets.
We suggest the project and the manner in which it has been handled is cause for deep concern on the part of every Anderson resident - because it is costing everyone. They should find out why such large sums of money were spent on a program opposed by many; why work was started before official action making it legal was requested of and taken by the elected City Council; why property owners were not notified in advance that work would start and their trees and lawns destroyed and, why the administration was so anxious to carry out the project.

THE ANSWERS could be very enlightening.

Top of Page

3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th 11th 12th 13th 14th
Morton Lincoln Chase Brown Delaware Jackson Meridian Main Hendricks Other
Site Hosted by Carmer Watson Properties, Inc.

By ADNA - Site Update January 5, 2014
Home | Districts | Neighborhood | Links