Senior staff writer
Indiana Department of Transportation representatives presented alternatives to the preferred State Road 37 route for I-69 through Morgan County and into Johnson and Marion counties at two recent public meetings.
Officials indicated at I-69 Section 6 meetings at Center Grove North Middle School and Martinsville High School that a decision would be made by the end of the year on the northernmost route to complete the interstate from Evansville to the Southside of Indianapolis.
INDOT is urging residents to contact the Project 6 office with comments on the I-69 extension plans and alternatives. The deadline is June 9 to submit comments.
A comment form is available at www.in.gov/indot/projects/i69/2463.htm or by calling 881-6408.
A proposed route that follows the State Road 37 corridor north into Perry Township has been on the table and opposed by several businesses and legislators who represent the township.
The Indiana legislature opened the door recently for INDOT to continue the route into the township. I-69, as initially proposed, would connect with I-465 just a few miles west of the existing I-465/State Road 37 interchange.
From input at previous meetings, including one held at Center Grove High School earlier this year, 40 percent of respondents favored the State Road 37 route; 34 percent a western route connecting with I-70 west of Plainfield; and 6 percent an eastern route, which would open up commerce eastward to I-65.
However, 20 percent disapproved of I-69 following State Road 37 but offered no other preference.
The original Tier 1 shows State Road 37 as the study area for the extension of I-69. Alternatives were identified at the two recent meetings as “conceptual alternatives.”
Crossing the White River flood plain and construction of a bridge across the waterway are shown as disadvantages to a western route, which would avoid the township.