INDIANAPOLIS (M) – The final leg of Interstate 69 from Evansville to Indianapolis is one step closer to reality with the release of its Tier 2 Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). In addition to increasing economic activity in the corridor, exhaustive studies and public input conclude that I-69 Section 6 will improve safety and travel times between Martinsville and Indianapolis.
The Draft EIS recommends a preferred route and footprint for the 26 miles of new and upgraded highway, including the location and types of 10 exits, 16 overpasses or underpasses and new local access roads. The draft document estimates the maximum potential impact that I-69 Section 6 construction could have on homes, businesses and natural resources, and identifies mitigation measures.
“This is an important milestone for an important project, and it couldn’t have been accomplished without the significant amount of public input we received from hundreds of citizens, elected officials and civic organizations along the corridor,” said Indiana Department of Transportation Commissioner Joe McGuinness. “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.”
INDOT will refine the preferred alternative based on public and agency input, and expects the Federal Highway Administration will issue a joint Final EIS and Record of Decision for Section 6 in the first quarter of 2018. The Final EIS will identify refinements to the preferred route based on public comments and agency review. The Record of Decision is the federal decision that authorizes INDOT to proceed with design and construction of the project.
Public review and comment
The complete Draft EIS, more than 1,500 pages, is available for public review online at www.in.gov/indot/projects/i69/2515.htm. The public may submit written comments on the document and its recommendations through May 8 via the comment form at www.in.gov/indot/projects/i69/2463.htm or by mail to the I-69 Section 6 project office, 7847 Waverly Road, Martinsville, IN 46151.
In addition, INDOT will host two public meetings from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Perry Meridian High School, 401 W. Meridian School Rd. in Indianapolis, on Thursday, April 6 and Martinsville High School, 1360 E. Gray St. in Martinsville, on Monday, April 10. Each meeting will begin with an open house followed by a formal presentation and public-comment period in the school auditorium beginning at 6:30 p.m.
Attendees who do not want to provide formal public testimony may return or mail a comment form available at the public hearings or provide verbal comments to a court reporter.
With advance notice, special accommodations will be made for individuals needing auxiliary aids or services of interpreters, signers, readers, or large print. Anyone with such needs should contact Rickie Clark with INDOT’s Office of Public Involvement at 317-232-6601 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Paper copies for review
Beginning March 24, 2017, paper copies of the Draft EIS will be available at the I-69 Section 5 and I-69 Section 6 Project Offices, INDOT’s Central, Greenfield and Seymour District Offices and at the following public libraries: • Indianapolis Public Library o Central Branch: 40 E. St. Clair St., Indianapolis o Southport Branch: 2630 E. Stop 11 Rd., Indianapolis o Decatur Branch: 5301 Kentucky Ave., Indianapolis • Johnson County Public Library, White River Branch: 1664 Library Blvd., Greenwood • Mooresville Public Library: 220 W. Harrison St., Mooresville • Morgan County Public Library o Waverly Branch: 9410 IN-144, Martinsville o Martinsville Branch: 110 S. Jefferson St., Martinsville • Plainfield-Guilford Township Public Library: 1120 Stafford Rd., Plainfield • Monroe County Public Library: 303 E. Kirkwood Ave., Bloomington