Environmental groups lose in bid to stop I-69

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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