Senior staff writer
Residents and business owners affected by the I-69 extension through Perry Township will be able comment on the newly released draft environmental impact statement at a public meeting April 6 at Perry Meridian High School.
The statement examines the preferred route (Indiana 37 corridor) and footprint for the 26-mile Section 6 of I-69 from Martinsville to a new I-465 interchange on the Southside.
Locations of 20 exits, overpasses and/or underpasses plus new local access roads are contained in the 1,500-page report issued Friday by the Indiana Department of Transportation.
Public input, according to INDOT Commissioner Joe McGuinness, continues to be valuable as it has been in previous meetings on the Southside.
“This draft study moves us closer to what’s been talked about for so, so long – finishing I-69 and having a free flow of traffic from Evansville to Indianapolis,” said McGuinness, who served as Franklin mayor before his recent appointment.
Martinsville High School also is a site for public comment April 10. Each meeting begins at 5:30 p.m. with an open-house format followed by a formal presentation and public comment.
The study reveals that I-69 will be six lanes from Ind. 144 to Southport Road and then eight lanes to I-465.
The final configuration of the Southport Road interchange and the exact path of a new I-69/I-465 interchange has not been fully determined.
The interchange is projected to have the highest volume of any in Section 6. Input at the meetings may help determine how the interchange would impact access to Aspen Lakes, Perry Commons, Southern Dunes and Southport Landing Shopping Center. The fire station at Edgewood Avenue would remain with the roadway running under I-69.
The draft shows a Smith Valley Road interchange that would force relocation of a White River Township fire station in Johnson County.
Also, a local service road west of I-69 between Smith Valley and Fairview roads would avoid creating landlocked parcels.
The Federal Highway Administration will issue a final statement in early 2018 and authorize INDOT to proceed with design and construction of I-69 from Martinsville to I-465.
The complete draft can be seen at www.in.gov/indot/projects/i69/2515.htm.
Paper copies will be available beginning Friday at Southport Library, 2630 E. Stop 11 Road, or White River Township Library, 1664 Library Blvd., Greenwood.
Comments can also be submitted to the above website or by mailing them to: I-69 Section 6 Project Office, 7847 Waverly Road, Martinsville, IN 46151.