Mayor talks about railroad, opioid epidemic during address

Columbus Mayor Jim Lienhoop gave his annual State of the City Address Thursday night from The Commons downtown. He talked about some of the accomplishments made by the city in 2017. A big one, he says, relates to the railroad overpass project.


A replacement of the bridge spanning Haw Creek is expected for later this year, which will allow for even more train traffic through the city. City officials have worked with INDOT to fund and implement the overpass project, which will take vehicle traffic over the tracks at State Road 11 and Jonathan Moore Pike. Lienhoop says it was the ongoing work of city officials that helped to get the project moved up on INDOT’s calendar years before it would normally take place.

Lienhoop noted that job and economic indicators are pointing to a bright 2018 for Columbus.


The mayor also talked about the growing opioid epidemic.


To help shine a lot on the problem, the mayor allowed Jeff Jones, the executive lead of the Alliance for Substance Abuse Progress in Bartholomew County, to make a short presentation.


The city council took action earlier this week to form and fund a board that will help determine what efforts would benefit from public funding to help fight the battle against the opioid epidemic. That board would also include representatives from the county, Columbus Regional Health and other stakeholders.