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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. Those of you yelling to deport them all should at least understand that the law allows minors (if not from a bordering country) to argue for asylum. If you don't like the law, you can petition Congress to change it. But you can't blindly scream that they all need to be deported now, unless you want your government to just decide which laws to follow and which to ignore.

  2. 52,000 children in a country with a population of nearly 300 million is decimal dust or a nano-amount of people that can be easily absorbed. In addition, the flow of children from central American countries is decreasing. BL - the country can easily absorb these children while at the same time trying to discourage more children from coming. There is tension between economic concerns and the values of Judeo-Christian believers. But, I cannot see how the economic argument can stand up against the values of the believers, which most people in this country espouse (but perhaps don't practice). The Governor, who is an alleged religious man and a family man, seems to favor the economic argument; I do not see how his position is tenable under the circumstances. Yes, this is a complicated situation made worse by politics but....these are helpless children without parents and many want to simply "ship" them back to who knows where. Where are our Hoosier hearts? I thought the term Hoosier was synonymous with hospitable.

  3. Illegal aliens. Not undocumented workers (too young anyway). I note that this article never uses the word illegal and calls them immigrants. Being married to a naturalized citizen, these people are criminals and need to be deported as soon as humanly possible. The border needs to be closed NOW.

  4. Send them back NOW.

  5. deport now

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