IBJNews

Environmental groups sue to block I-69 construction

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

Environmentalists have filed a lawsuit aimed at stopping construction of the Interstate 69 extension in southern Indiana, claiming the project violates federal environmental laws.

Landowners affected by the I-69 project, Citizens for Appropriate Rural Roads and the I-69 Accountability Project filed the suit in federal court in Indianapolis on Monday, a week after federal highway officials signed off on the final environmental review for the stretch from the Crane Naval Surface Warfare Center to Bloomington.

The groups contend that the highway project threatens the endangered Indiana bat and violates the federal Endangered Species Act.

A spokesman for Citizens for Appropriate Rural Roads said the group believes the state highway department underestimated in its count of nearly 1,500 geologic features such as sinkholes, caves and springs in the path of the latest approved section.

"I-69 should never have been routed through this extremely environmentally sensitive area," Thomas Tokarski said.

Indiana Department of Transportation spokeswoman Cher Elliott told The Herald-Times of Bloomington that the agency has "followed all state and federal guidelines" regarding the project.

Construction began in 2009 near Evansville on the first section of the planned 142-mile route between that city and Indianapolis. The project has been estimated to cost about $3 billion to complete.

In February, the Hoosier Environmental Council and Citizens for Appropriate Rural Roads filed a lawsuit claiming the Army Corps of Engineers violated federal law by giving the state permission to fill wetlands and reroute streams along the I-69 route in Greene and Daviess counties.

That lawsuit, which is still pending in federal court, asked that the highway be rerouted to a less environmentally disruptive route along existing highways, U.S. 41 and Interstate 70.

ADVERTISEMENT

  • i 69
    Would you people stop complaining...
  • Wrong Problem
    Tom, your reasoning presents either a mode issue or a location issue. If so many people in bloomington need to get to Indy, or Indy to Bloomington or Indy to Evansville or whatever, then maybe they should live in these places instead of having me pay for their commute or perhaps we would be better served by a higher occupancy vehicle to transport them from place to place.
  • Me
    This is a Washington DC environmental firm that has limited local support. Don't get catch up in the language.
  • SIGH
    As I pointed out to the misguided citizens of Bloomington, I-69 is needed now, just as the previous project that widened SR 37 from Indianapolis to Bloomington was needed. Order of magnitude improvement in travel time. the US-41/I-70 routing INCREASES travel time over the more direct route. I checked the SR 37 routes Indy to Bloomington, and discovered that Old SR 37 is actually a bit shorter, but takes over twice as long! The same will happen with I-69 from Evansville to Indy - via US41/I-70 will take LONGER than I-69 via Bloomington. In this case, the two routes would be otherwise equal, but via Bloomington will be shorter, and hence quicker, than via Terre Haute. And everyone's already signed off on it - EPA included. So, give it up, already!
  • NAFTA
    The Highway from Mexico to Canada is to help the free trade between Canada, the US, and Mexico. So far I am wondering how anyone has been helped by NAFTA.
  • Pay Attention
    These environmental concerns were raised very early in the process, but officials were determined to disregard what grassroots people had to say and do as they darn well pleased. So here we are, many years later and many dollars spent later, and these same issues are still being raised. Let there be a lesson here: Behaving like a bully by failing to truly listen and thoughtfully address people's concerns means that time and money end up being wasted.
  • Sunk Cost
    Jeff, I have to agree with Joe. Spending $3 Billion so that we don't waste $10 Million is a fallacy of Sunk Cost logic.
  • Misguided
    Jeff, Citing money spent as a reason to continue spending money is a terrible reasoning. The US government obviously invested a lot of money in things, yet we just spent months and many news stories arguing how they should reduce spending and cut programs. Because you dug a hole doesn't mean you need to dig deeper to justify it.
  • Wrong Direction
    No, you cannot sue for ingnorant fiscal policy. The wheels to construct I-69 from Indy to E'ville was started under Bayh and continued under O'Bannon, Kernan and Daniels. Support for this interstate was bi-partisan and part of an overall Federal plan to extend the interstate from Canada to Mexico. To waste all the money spent on studies from the late 90s to date would be a total travesty and complete waste of taxpayer money. Now, that investment and work is paying for persons who would otherwise be unemployed or under-employed.
  • Wrong Direction
    Can we sue for ignorant fiscal policy?

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
 
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. Uh, sorry Johnnie, but you are incorrect. Despite the assertions by yourself and various defenders and captains, sports attendance is NOT off significantly at most sporting events in the US. Variances in attendance has been in the range of single digits, both + & - for years now. MLB has had most of its best overall attendance nubers in the last decade, and that trend has been consistent for most major sporting events. The number one issue cited by most fans when asked about attendance is the overall cost of attending. The presence of HD and big screen televisions in home doesn't even register, as a factor for not attending an event. VALUE in the product is the key, and apparently is something lacking in the current ICS. What other explanation is there when with what is routinely touted as the "best" racing on the planet, fans are staying away in DROVES. A "close" title battle into the last event at Fontana, with the "cars and stars" of the ICS, and who showed up? MAYBE 8K. Sorry, but HD TV isn't to blame for that kind of fan apathy.

  2. Do you need finance to establish your business ? Are you interested in getting a loan at 3% from our private company? If so please Email: suntrust_oil@blumail.org

  3. If she was worth the $ the public outcry over direct tv dropping them would have kept them on their dishes as we have seen with other companies. I too quit watching channel 13 after she showed up since I left channel 8 because of her all show rather than production results. When Randy on 8 corrected her she had a big head and incorrectly challenged his correction for pronunciation of a city. Other antics while she matures was too much for me with her very inaccurate forecasts. All the forecasters were predicting rain until Thursday except Chris. They predicted sunny on Thursday but instead of rain until Thursday upon which the sun would finally make it out in full glory Chris was right on the money just as I too predicted looking at the radar on weather.gov. One thing I love about Angela is the fear you can see in her every time it thunders in the winter. It far exceeds the entertainment value of her body language (high heel noise drags, depression, etc) when her forecasts are so incorrect. Her hair stands on end, you have to see it!!!

  4. Good Day, Apply For A Loan I am Mr Fernadez Antonio, a private Loan lender and a cooperate financial for real estate and any kinds of business financing. I also offer Loans to individuals, Firms and cooperate bodies at 3% interest rate We offer any kind of loans. email us via fernadezloaninvest@outlook.com LOAN APPLICATION FORM First name:......................... Middle name:......................... Last name:........................................ Date of birth (yyyy-mm-dd):....................... Gender:........................................... Marital status:................................... Total Amount Needed............................... Loan Duration.................................... Address:.......................................... City:............................................. State/province:................................... Zip/postal code:.................................. Country:.......................................... Phone:............................................ Fax:.............................................. Mobile/cellular:.................................. Monthly Income.................................... Occupation:....................................... Best Regard, Mr Fernadez Antonio.

  5. i will love to share my testimony to you all the people in world i got married to my husband about 2 year ago we start having problems at home like we stop sleeping on the same bed,fighting about little things he always comes home late at night,drinking too much and sleeping with other women out side i have never love any man in my life except him. he is the father of my child and i don't want to loose him because we have worked so hard together to become what we are and have today .few month ago he now decided to live me and the kid,being a single mother can be hard sometimes and so i have nobody to turn to and i was heart broken.i called my mom and explain every thing to her,my mother told me about DR.okoro how he helped her solve the problem between her and my dad i was surprise about it because they have been without each other for three and a half years and it was like a miracle how they came back to each other. i was directed to DR. okoro on his email:okorospell@gmail.com and explain everything to him,so he promise me not to worry that he will cast a spell and make things come back to how we where so much in love again and that it was another female spirit that was controlling my husband he told me that my problem will be solved within two days if i believe i said OK So he cast a spell for me and after two days my love came back asking me to forgive him i Am so happy now. so that why i decided to share my experience with every body that have such problem contact Dr okoro the great spell caster on his email addresses spellcasterforlove@outlook.com

ADVERTISEMENT