Mixed concerns at INDOT meeting for I-69 proposal
GREENWOOD, Ind. (Feb. 23, 2015) – INDOT held a community meeting Monday night in Greenwood where they were met with mixed opinions from community members about a massive project that would connect Martinsville to Indianapolis.
The project includes section six of the project. A proposal that originated 10 years ago had plans to expand I-69 by using the current State Route 37 through Martinsville. This is the final section to be complete in the project.
The meeting drew a large crowd at Center Grove High School. INDOT representatives were available to help answer questions.
“The idea behind everything tonight is to educate people about the environmental review process and then gather valuable input, so that we can develop the best project possible,” explains INDOT spokesperson Will Wingfield.
Members of the community were able to present their questions, but answers were not given. Wingfield says the project is at least two to three years away from getting started.
“Federal law requires us to review all alternatives for I-69, so we’re taking the valuable input we receive from the legislature with other considerations,” said Wingfield.
House Bill 1036 will have a final vote Tuesday. It would remove the ban for interstate construction through Perry Township. The decision would be essential for INDOT plans.
Community members came armed with lists of questions, although none of them were answered during the meeting. Erik Klasnick recently moved to the area.
“What is the benefits as a taxpayer to stay on 37 vs. going to any other route? I need to know what that true cost is in the planning,” said Klasnick.
Others are concerned about the environmental impacts during the construction phase.
“Along the White River we have American Bald Eagles, we have all types of hawks, ducks and birds of all types as well,” said Charlotte Dawes.
Another big concern for people in the community is the question of having to move.
“We’ve heard things, but our houses are in jeopardy and like she said, we’ve lived here for 40-45 years, we’re gonna lose our homes and I don’t think it’s fair,” said Sue Likens.
While a majority of the questions came as concerns from community members, others are looking forward to the possibility of a faster commute downtown.
If you missed the meeting on Monday, there’s another one on Wednesday night. It will be at 5:30 p.m. at Martinsville High School.