Indiana plans to spend about $77 million to reduce the environmental impact of the $3.1 billion Interstate 69 extension that's in the early stages of construction.
The Evansville Courier & Press reports that state officials plan to protect nearly 10 square miles along the 142-mile-long highway running from Indianapolis to Evansville to help preserve forests, re-create wetlands and safeguard endangered species.
But environmentalists who oppose the project aren't impressed. Tim Maloney of the Hoosier Environmental Council says the state is only complying with federal rules.
He said forests, wetlands and farmland will be bulldozed for the highway, and runoff along the finished road from automobiles and road salt will harm sensitive cave ecosystems.