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Environmental groups lose in bid to stop I-69

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A federal judge has ruled against opponents of the $3 billion Interstate 69 extension between Indianapolis and Evansville who claimed the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers violated federal law by giving Indiana permission to fill wetlands and reroute streams along part of the 142-mile road.

U.S. District Judge Larry McKinney wrote in an order issued Tuesday that the Corps' decision to issue a permit was not arbitrary or capricious. He granted summary judgment to the Corps and the Indiana Department of Transportation.

The Hoosier Environmental Council and Citizens for Appropriate Rural Roads argued in their lawsuit the highway would cause "irreparable" environmental harm along a 26-mile section that would cross southern Indiana's Daviess and Greene counties.

A 70-mile section of the I-69 extension is expected to open late this year.

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  • 69
    You people just need to stop complaining about everything... You choose to live here. Let the state do what is best for the people. I bet you people complain about everything. Get a life.
  • Finally
    LandMine Of course missing from your argument is the fact that SR 37 between Bloomington and Indianapolis has one of the highest rates of accidents in the state and desperately needs to be upgraded to interstate standards and will only get worse in time as it inevitably becomes more congested. Additionally - without interstate access, Crane Naval Base is likely gone. With the upcoming interstate the base can be retained and comes the opportunity to add jobs for businesses that support the base in one of the poorest parts of the state that could desperately use jobs and hope
  • DRT.....
    whether swamp or wetland, this portion of earth plays a role so large in the overall ecosystem that you wouldn't be able to comprehend it. Abosrption of pollutants and chmicals in our waterways and habitat for a wide variety of animals, plants and insects will be wiped out........not that you care. There is always more, there is always more, there is always more, there is..........oh no!
  • It's a good thing!
    Hey, as a home owner in Greene County, I am extremely happy they have ran I-69 through Greene County. I can remember not too long ago worrying about the "Base Realignment and Closings" taking a hard look at closing Crane. The new I-69 route has played a role, if not a major role, in the decision to keep Crane open. Had the base closed, my wife - employed at Crane, would have lossed her job and my home, that I own in Bloomfield, would have devalued more than I care to even think about. With out the base the area would have literally dried up. But, since I-69 is being built and Crane is remaining open, we have seen more and more business coming to the area in the West Gate Park and in Bloomfield itself. If you own land in Greene County, you almost had to support this hi-way. It will protect the value of your property.
  • Quit fighting
    When will opponents quit claiming that it's only 15 minutes and the infrastructure was already there? As liberal as I am, I don't take lies by either party very well. I suggest you quit spewing your lies.
  • Name Change
    Remember when wetlands used to be called swamps? I guess trying to get people to save the swamps didn't have the same ring to it.
  • Pave Paradise
    This is sad news. When will humans stop paving over life, when one tree remains? All to save 15 minutes in travel time, big whoop! The much smarter alternative would have been to upgrade highway 41 and improve what we have already invested in.

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    1. I took Bruce's comments to highlight a glaring issue when it comes to a state's image, and therefore its overall branding. An example is Michigan vs. Indiana. Michigan has done an excellent job of following through on its branding strategy around "Pure Michigan", even down to the detail of the rest stops. Since a state's branding is often targeted to visitors, it makes sense that rest stops, being that point of first impression, should be significant. It is clear that Indiana doesn't care as much about the impression it gives visitors even though our branding as the Crossroads of America does place importance on travel. Bruce's point is quite logical and accurate.

    2. I appreciated the article. I guess I have become so accustomed to making my "pit stops" at places where I can ALSO get gasoline and something hot to eat, that I hardly even notice public rest stops anymore. That said, I do concur with the rationale that our rest stops (if we are to have them at all) can and should be both fiscally-responsible AND designed to make a positive impression about our state.

    3. I don't know about the rest of you but I only stop at these places for one reason, and it's not to picnic. I move trucks for dealers and have been to rest areas in most all 48 lower states. Some of ours need upgrading no doubt. Many states rest areas are much worse than ours. In the rest area on I-70 just past Richmond truckers have to hike about a quarter of a mile. When I stop I;m generally in a bit of a hurry. Convenience,not beauty, is a primary concern.

    4. Community Hospital is the only system to not have layoffs? That is not true. Because I was one of the people who was laid off from East. And all of the LPN's have been laid off. Just because their layoffs were not announced or done all together does not mean people did not lose their jobs. They cherry-picked people from departments one by one. But you add them all up and it's several hundred. And East has had a dramatic drop I in patient beds from 800 to around 125. I know because I worked there for 30 years.

    5. I have obtained my 6 gallon badge for my donation of A Positive blood. I'm sorry to hear that my donation was nothing but a profit center for the Indiana Blood Center.

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