Destruction of the historical Steed-Hardwick-Marshall memorial due to a car accident at the intersection where North Ocoee Street splits into Broad Street and intersects with 8th Street has the Cleveland City Council considering renovations to the area to make it safer.
During this week’s Council meeting, at-large Councilman George Poe said the intersection has long needed safety renovations. He said he had received several calls about car accidents at the intersection during his time on the Council.
He said there are low-cost solutions he had mentioned in the past that had never been pursued.
One solution, he said, would be to close the portion of 8th Street that crosses Broad and Ocoee streets in front of the monument. Poe said installing curbing and changing the second lane on Broad Street to a turn-only lane would also be a low-cost solution.
“How long are we going to sit here and do nothing?” Poe asked. “People have been killed there.”
The Council unanimously passed a motion for Poe to meet with development and engineering director Jonathan Jobe to work out details for the project. North Ocoee Street is a state road and any plan would have to go to the Tennessee Department of Transportation for approval.
“It may save some lives,” Poe said.
Also during the Council’s meeting this week, restoring the monument base was discussed. The Council reviewed an estimate for the project with $3,500 for repair and cleaning on the monument shaft and $1,500 for delivery and installation from Baston Monuments.
“This is a very reasonable amount of money. So we feel like surely the insurance company of the vehicle that was at fault would be responsible,” said City Manager Janice Casteel.
At-Large Councilman Richard Banks suggested the city have the driver’s insurance company contact the repair company directly.
“It’s not the city taxpayers’ responsibility to pay for [driver] negligence,” Banks said.
The memorial is named for Cleveland residents William Steed, William Marshall and John Hardwick, who died in train crash in Virginia in 1889. The monument was created in 1890.
Also during the meeting Monday, the Council adopted Interstate Gateway Corridor overlay zoning for specific areas around Interstate 75 Exits 20, 25 and 27.
The Council also voted “to allow the uses permitted within the IH Heavy Industrial Zoning District as conditional uses within the IL Light Industry Zoning District.”