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Some still not sold on I-69 plans in southern Indiana

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The complaints were quieter but still firm during the latest public hearing about plans for the Interstate 69 extension through southern Indiana.

Some 400 people turned out Tuesday night at the Monroe County Fairgrounds to see and comment on the state highway department's proposals for I-69 interchanges and access roads along the current Indiana 37 route between Bloomington and Martinsville, The Herald-Times reported.

About 20 people spoke against the plans, raising concerns focused on the loss of land, noise and air pollution, lack of bicycle access and money being diverted from local roads.

"This process is absurd and nothing that is said here makes any difference," Bloomington bike shop owner Jeanne Smith said.

Construction work is under way on a nearly 70-mile stretch of the highway from near Evansville to near Crane Naval Surface Warfare Center southwest of Bloomington, where opposition to the highway has been particularly intense since state officials selected its route a decade ago.

Tuesday's meeting was mostly courteous compared to when tempers flared during the last state-sponsored public hearing on the highway section in 2005.

But Hoosier Voices for I-69 representative Morgan Hutton was the only person to speak in favor of the project. Hutton praised the highway project and encouraged people "to keep educating themselves about the benefits."

The plans presented at the meeting covered alternatives for interchanges and access roads on the 21-mile stretch going north from Bloomington toward Indianapolis.

Two proposals use the existing Indiana 37 as an access road in several locations. Estimates for those plans are about $315 million. Other proposals use the pavement and structures of Indiana 37 in many locations and include narrower grassy medians and highway shoulders. Those proposals are estimated at $250 million to $267 million.

Another public hearing will be held after a final proposal for the section is released, which is expected this fall, said Cher Elliott, a spokeswoman for the Indiana Department of Transportation

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  • 69
    Stop complaining. We are tired od hearing you gripe all the time. Let it go. It's gonna happen no matter what you say

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  1. So much for Eric Holder's conversation about race. If white people have got something to say, they get sued over it. Bottom line: white people have un-freer speech than others as a consequence of the misnamed "Civil rights laws."

  2. I agree, having seen three shows, that I was less than wowed. Disappointing!!

  3. Start drilling, start fracking, and start using our own energy. Other states have enriched their citizens and nearly elminated unemployment by using these resources that are on private land. If you are against the 'low prices' of discount stores, the best way to allow shoppers more choice is to empower them with better earnings. NOT through manipulated gov mandated min wage hikes, but better jobs and higher competitive pay. This would be direct result of using our own energy resources, yet Obama knows that Americans who arent dependent of gov welfare are much less likely to vote Dem, so he looks for ways to ensure America's decline and keep its citizens dependent of gov.

  4. Say It Loud, I'm Black and Ashamed: It's too bad that with certain "black" entertainment events, it seems violence and thuggery follows and the collateral damage that it leaves behinds continues to be a strain on the city in terms of people getting hurt, killed or becoming victims of crimes and/or stretching city resources. I remember shopping in the Meadows area years ago until violence and crime ended make most of the business pack you and leave as did with Lafayette Square and Washington Square. Over the past 10 to 12 years, I remember going to the Indiana Black Expo Soul Picnic in Washington Park. Violence, gang fights and homicides ended that. My great grandmother still bears the scares on her leg from when she was trampled by a group of thugs running from gun fire from a rival gang. With hundreds of police offices downtown still multiple shootings, people getting shot downtown during Black Expo. A number of people getting shots or murdered at black clubs around the city like Club Six on the west side, The Industry downtown, Jamal Tinsley's shot out in front of the Conrad, multiple fights and shootings at the skating rinks, shootings at Circle Center Mall and shooting and robberies and car jackings at Lafayette Mall. Shootings and gang violence and the State Fair. I can go on and on and on. Now Broad Ripple. (Shaking head side to side) Say It Loud, I'm Black and I'm Ashamed.

  5. Ballard Administration. Too funny. This is the least fiscally responsive administration I have ever seen. One thing this article failed to mention, is that the Hoosier State line delivers rail cars to the Amtrak Beech Grove maintenance facility for refurbishment. That's an economic development issue. And the jobs there are high-paying. That alone is worth the City's investment.

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