Indiana, other states want I-70 truck lanes

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A proposed study that would look at adding special lanes for trucks on Interstate 70 has cleared its first hurdle at the U.S. Department of Transportation, and now is competing with 13 other projects for a final nod from the federal government.

Indiana along with Illinois, Missouri and Ohio applied to the federal Corridor of the Future Program to add truck lanes from Ohio to Missouri. The cost of building the project is not yet known.

A detailed proposal to study the route is due May 25, with a final decision possible late this summer. If the agency likes results of a resulting study, the project could begin in several years, said Joe Gustin, the Indiana Department of Transportation’s deputy commissioner of public-private partnerships.

“This is a very conceptual plan,” Gustin said. “Something to get freight moving east-west.”

The four states want to speed truck traffic through the nation’s mid-section, but are still considering ideas, he said.

One option might be to build the lanes to accommodate heavier trucks or let them drive at faster speeds. Another idea is to let them pull more than two trailers.

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