Senior staff writer
Perry Township residents took their first look at two different interchange plans at Southport Road as part of the final connection of I-69 from Martinsville to I-465.
Section 6 maps based upon the recent Tier 2 Environmental Impact Statement for 26 miles of new interstate and 31.8 miles of access lanes from Martinsville through Perry Township were viewed by an estimated 150 residents April 6 at Perry Meridian High School.
The Southport Road interchange drew high interest.
One alternative (C4A) would eliminate the Perry Commons apartments and a filling station on the southeast corner and a portion of a small shopping center on the northwest side. Alternative C4B would save most of the apartment complex but lead to relocating all businesses on the northwest side. C4A would save Piper’s Restaurant, C4B would not.
The interchange is projected to have the highest volume of any interchange in Section 6.
Residents who spoke favored retaining the apartments although lamenting the loss of restaurants across from the Southern Dunes development and golf course.
Interchanges also would be located at Indiana 144, Smith Valley Road, County Line Road, Epler Avenue and I-465 just east of Warman Avenue, which would force relocation of most businesses immediately south of I-465. The White River Township fire station at Smith Valley Road and Indiana 37 would have to be relocated.
The Epler Avenue interchange would be the link for motorists from the I-465 exchange to connect with I-69.
The following roads would continue under or over I-69: Waverly, Stones Crossing, Wicker and Edgewood.
There would be no direct access to I-69 for motorists on Whiteland, Travis, Olive Branch, Bluff, Fairview and Stop 11 roads. Some residents expressed fear that blockage would lead to more traffic on State Road 135, which is already clogged during rush hour traffic.
Plans call for old Indiana 37 to be extended on the west side of the Indiana 37 footprint as a north-south access road.
The study shows I-69 as two lanes north and south to Indiana 144, then three lanes to Southport Road and four lanes to I-465.
The final study is expected to be issued by the Federal Highway Administration in the first quarter of 2018 and will authorize the Indiana Department of Transportation to proceed with design and construction of I-69 from Martinsville to I-465.
Maps of interchanges, overpasses, underpasses and access roads are available online at www.i69indyevn.org. Paper copies of the draft are available at Southport Library, 2630 E. Stop 11 Road, or White River Township Library, 1664 Library Blvd., Greenwood.
Additional comments can be submitted at www.in.gov.indot/project/i69/2463.htm or by mail: I-69 Section 6 Project Office, 7847 Waverly Road, Martinsville, IN 46151 by May 8.