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Grave mistake complicates roadway project

Construction crews marked an area that may contain a grave.

Sun Advocate publisher

A road construction project on 1500 West in Carbonville has run into a new snag and officials are trying to sort out the situation.

Last weekend, someone placed stakes, flourescent tape and a sign that denoted graves in the corner of the cemetery on the corner of 1500 West and 2250 North.

One of the graves marked is under the fence and into the road bed. Another marked grave was located beyond the existing fence on the corner.

Rumors have been circulating since the project began that there were graves under the road on the corner.

Based on some longtime residents' memories, the fence used to proceed due north to the corner, making a sharp turn in the road. Possibly due to safety concerns on the corner, the fence was changed to make more room for vehicles to turn. That could have exposed graves to the open road.

According to workers for Nielson Construction, the contractor has avoided grading the corner closely in case there is a grave there.

"We aren't certain if there is a grave there yet," said Carbon Commissioner Bill Krompel on Monday. "I talked with the design team for the road reconstruction and they have said, just in case there is, they have put the edge of the road that is to be put down four to five feet away from the possible site."

However, that will leave the supposed grave cut in half by the fence and exposed to the shoulder of the road.

"We are working to have a company with some ground penetrating radar come in and shoot that area to see if there is actually a grave there," continued Krompel. "So even though the road is not going to be put over the site, we want to know if it is there. If one is found there, we will have to take appropriate action to fix the situation."

Krompel did not explain what the action would be, but said the county would "act with respect" if a grave is determined to be at the site.

The cemetery has been in place on the corner for many years.

Weeds often clog the grounds until a church or Boy Scout service project is organized to clear the debris.

Both ends of the road through the cemetery have gates leaning against the fence, unconnected to the corner posts.

The cemetery contains the graves of some early residents. But in recent years, the county has used the site as an indigent cemetery.

"Until we know for sure there is a grave there, we are going to be very careful of that area. Once we determine the situation, then we can decide what needs to be done," concluded Krompel.

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