Senior staff writer
The refined Section 6 plan for the I-69 interchange at Southport Road will impact most businesses in that area of Perry Township.
After hundreds of meetings, the plans call for the “north” alternative, which would avoid relocating 320 tenants living in the Aspen Lake Apartments on the southeast corner of Southport and Indiana 37.
The selection of a Southport Road overpass will affect businesses on the northwest section. Existing businesses in the southwest area will remain intact, including the Southern Dunes subdivision.
The “Refined Preferred Alternative” report shows that the north alternative costs $20 million less than the south alternative. The plans were shown at recent meetings at Center Grove and Martinsville high schools.
Farther north, a new I-465/I-69 interchange will have a major impact on most businesses and homes on Thompson Road west of State Road 37 and south of I-465. Motorists on I-465 would be able to connect directly to I-69 at the new interchange or indirectly from the existing I-465 interchange to a new Epler Avenue interchange.
Indiana Department of Transportation spokesman LaMar Holliday emphasized that relocations are “potential,” based on the report; however, “kitchen table” meetings will be held with business owners in 2018.
“Some adjustments could be made,” Holliday said.
I-69 will be four lanes from State Road 39 to Smith Valley Road, then six lanes to Southport Road and then eight lanes to the new interchange at I-465.
Stones Crossing Road, where an overpass had been planned, Olive Branch Road, Bluff Acres Drive and Fairview Road in Johnson County will dead end at I-69.
Holliday emphasized that the findings from the report were responsible for greatly expanded service roads.
Impact of I-69 along State Road 37, per the report:
• I-69 underpass at Edgewood and Epler avenues.
• County Line Road interchange to feature roundabouts at ramps, potential relocation of businesses in small strip mall.
• Smith Valley Road interchange to have minimum impact on Center Grove Lassie/Little League fields due to new access road, roundabouts at ramps and Mullinix Road.
Access roads and future kitchen table meetings with business and home owners may soften the blow of I-69 expansion along the State Road 37 corridor.
Construction is expected to begin in Martinsville in 2020 and work northward to I-465 by 2027. The estimated cost of Section 6 is $1.5 billion.