State officials have chosen the preferred route of a proposed highway that would run from the Ohio River to Interstate 69, linking small southern Indiana communities to I-69.
The Indiana Department of Transportation announced its selection of the “Alternative P” route over several other options for the Mid-States Corridor in a public notice published Monday in the classifieds section of the Evansville Courier & Press, the newspaper reported.
The notice says the route would start in Spencer County and use existing U.S. 231 until it links with Interstate 64. A new, 54-mile portion of the road would then branch off and run parallel to U.S. 231 before linking with I-69 just north of the Crane Naval Surface Warfare Center in Martin County.
That route would mostly bypass “developed” parts of towns along the path, including Jasper and Loogootee, the notice states.
Mid-States Corridor Project spokeswoman Mindy Peterson declined to provide specifics–including why INDOT chose “alternative P”–until an environmental impact statement is released Friday.
Public hearings on the preferred route are set for April 26 at WestGate Academy in Odon, and April 28 at the Jasper Arts Center on Vincennes University’s Jasper campus.
INDOT and the project’s supporters say it will improve southern Indiana’s highway connections.
Opponents have argued that building a new highway would damage the region’s forests and caves. Residents have also said it would hurt businesses by diverting motorists around small towns.