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The last episode of IN Focus aired August 2013; the page below is an archive.

The WFIU/WTIU news team continues its coverage of local and regional issues
in a new weekly program, Indiana Newsdesk.

August 26, 2010  

Interstate 69 Controversy

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Comments (21)

  • Steve

    Interstate 69 will bring economic development opportunities to the state of Indiana and will help create jobs for future generations.

    Thank heavens that it is finally getting built!

  • nell hill

    I really did not think I would live long enough to see I69 to Indy from Evansville. Thank you Governor Daniels. This will be great for the people that have to drive to Bloomington on a regular basis, current drive time 2-1/2 hours. All those people that have to conduct business in Indy on a regular basis, those parents that need to attend to the special health needs of their children at Riley Hospital, the specialized medical needs in the future can be handled by the wonderful medical doctors in Indianapolis instead of St. Louis, Mo or Nashville, TN. Anyone that is not happy about this is a selfish person

  • Jeff Mulzer

    I drove on I-69 in Southern Indiana last week. I’ll be driving on it often and every few months it takes me farther.

    The road is being built, the only debate left is where it will hook up with 37. If the current plan is not followed, there will be more new road construction. The current plan follows existing road from Section 3 to 37 and 37 to Indianapolis. If the current section 4 plan is hindered, that could result in more new terrain construction. If sections 5 and 6 are blocked, that will result in many miles of new terrain instead of following the existing 37 with just upgrades.

    I-69 is as much a reality as I-64, I-65 or I-70 are now.

  • http://www.buildi69.com Highway Supporter

    Indiana is making major moves forward…I-69 will provide our state with more economic development opportunities, meaning job creation!

    Dirt is being moved and pavement is being laid…it’s time to quit debating whether or not it should be built…but rather, to plan for development and mitigating environmental impacts.

    Thanks to InFocus for providing a forum for these discussions.

  • John

    Build it now!

    I-69 means jobs, jobs, jobs.

    Thanks to Governor Daniels for making I-69 a priority of this state.

  • Carl Lohkamp

    I strongly support the I-69 project. Visit WestGate Techcenter beside Crane and you see significant construction, and the location of many jobs. Lets add to the growth and go full speed ahead on I-69. This a case where 1 highway and 1 Tech Center will add up to a lot more than two.

  • Brian Garvey

    When I-69 was being prepped by the lobbyists back in the early 90’s for the new federal highway bill (make room at the trough) , the country was a different animal. The idea of acquiring land, making a “driveway”, building housing units, thus creating customers (Duke Energy, Vectren, Etc.) had ruled the day since the mid seventies. All the reasons (Purpose and Need) for I-69 through Indiana are gone now.
    NAFTA, Accessibility, and state of the art construction are out the window. Cost-Benefit ratio was horrible back then, now it approaches 10 million a job. It is a dinosaur, a stumbling, lumbering, perverse monument to corrupt political deals, government hypocrisy, and corporate hijacking. It’s time to end this thing and get on with the business of transportation for the 21st century. The “not happy” comment made me gag.

  • Jean

    By law I-69 must be compared to “no build” and must provide a benefit greater than not building. INDOT had no wiggle room. The Tier 1 of this two Tier study concluded:

    “Table 5.5 summarizes the forecasts of real disposable income and real disposable income per capita in 2025. Compared to the No-Build Alternative, the build alternatives are forecast to generate between $52.1 million and $164.6 million additional real disposable income in 2025, depending on the alternative, a change of 0.1 to 0.3 percent. Each alternative results in increases in employment and personal income. The REMI model also takes into account the tendency of individuals to relocate to or to remain in an area (when they otherwise would have moved out) to take advantage of enhanced economic opportunities. When this population growth is taken into account, we find that the real disposable income per capita for the build alternatives does not differ significantly from the 2025 forecast for the no build alternative.”

    The trouble is the state has reduced the predicted use of I-69 by 10% to 25% for the entire route and the cost has jumped from 1.8 billion dollars to $5 billion. They have proved that it should not be built, but are not honest enough to report the facts. It is almost as if it is a competition to build it against the opposition. All the other states are using existing roads if they follow through at all. Even Texas has pulled back to signing existing interstates as I-69.

  • Robert

    We constantly hear about local governments dipping into reserves, school corporations in financial trouble, tax revenue being down, etc., but Governor Daniels is dead set on funding this highway and the unpopular route he has chosen for it. What don't we know about his motives. This is inconsistant with his business sense.

  • winmag

    It is truly unfortunate that a fiscal conservative Republican adminstration has seen fit to continue to plod along on the path to waste billions of our taxdollars on an unnecessary and unwanted project, all the while taking people's private property rights away from them by effectively stealing the land (forcing people off their property against their will). Which sounds more like socialism or communism to you? Using govt authority to spend our money against our will and take private property away to eventually benefit the few who lobby and politic for this project?

    And in this day and age, modern society is still stupid enough to willingly destroy 4000-5000 acres of productive greenspace for yet another strip of pavement.

    I truly think there is no hope for society when greed, money, power, and stupidity all come together for the lesser good.

  • My Bonnie

    Why are the People In Power pushing this new terrain I-69 when the majority of humankind realize it's a painfully unnecessary and outdated expense? People In Power, why not look for other modes of mass transportation and fix the roads we have? Do not tear another gash in the heart of Mother Earth.

  • RW

    I have long been opposed to I-69 on the basis that it is unneeded, expensive, and environmentally insensitive. However, since I-69 is apparently a done deal I would like to urge that that it be a toll road with the toll receipts used to pay for maintenance and upkeep. Since Governor Daniels has proposed that the highway be built “on the cheap”, maintenance and upkeep will be expensive and should be paid for by the users. Since this is heralded as a NAFTA highway the commercial benefits from it should be used for maintenance and upkeep. It should be a simple matter to install toll entrances and IPASS monitors and convert I-69 into a toll road. What do you think?

  • winmag

    And since I-69 doesn't currently exist next to Crane, but the tech center does, how exactly do you link the two together as if the tech center would cease to exist if there was no highway built there?

  • winmag

    People that forcibly take other people's property away from them to benefit themselves in some manner are the truly selfish people – of which you appear to be one. Maybe someone will condemn your house someday and force you to leave – that would be appropriate considering your current attitude.

  • David Parsons

    I have several problems with the construction of I-69.
    The first is that I don't trust the impartiality of cost/benefit studies commissioned by INDOT. The study done in the late 90's didn't stand up to scrutiny by an expert who was not on the INDOT payroll.
    This mistrust is exacerbated by INDOT's seeming reluctance to accept any recommendations for a change in the plan they deem the best. Public comment seems to have minimal impact. I believe their current plan is remarkably similar to the route they proposed 20 years ago.
    I still don't understand the analysis of benefit that compares an expenditure of money for building a road vs (in part) the 'cost' of the productive land that will be buried, when in reality, that land would go on IN PERPETUITY producing food, timber, filtering water and capturing carbon (carbon, let's not even START on that one!). The road will require continued maintenance and rebuilding.
    And speaking of rebuilding, how does building a cheaper road effect the overall cost? Usually it's more expensive in the long run to build something cheap and fix it later. Is this the throw-away highway?
    Lastly, I live in a cormer of Monroe County that will be greatly affected if roads are closed. As a member of the Fire Board for one of our volunteer firefighter organizations, I pray that we won't see home loss and fatalities that could have been prevented by choosing a sensible approach to highway construction in Indiana.

  • RW

    Carl-
    Would you be willing to pay a toll fee to pay for the upkeep and maintenance or do you prefer to have the nonuser taxpayers pay for it?

  • RW

    John-
    Would you be willing to pay a toll fee to pay for maintence and upkeep or do you prefer that the nonuser taxpayers pay for it?

  • RW

    Highway supporter
    Would you be willing to pay a toll fee to pay for maintence and upkeep or do you prefer that the nonuser taxpayers pay for it?

  • RW

    Jeff-
    Since you plan on using I-69 so much would you be willing to pay a toll fee to pay for maintence and upkeep or do you prefer that the nonuser taxpayers pay for it?

  • RW

    Nell-
    Since you see so many benefits for the users of I-69 souldn't they be willing to pay a toll fee to pay for maintence and upkeep or do you prefer that the nonuser taxpayers pay for it?

  • RW

    Steve-
    Since so many benefits accrue to the users of I-69 shouldn’t they be willing to pay a toll fee to pay for maintenance and upkeep or do you prefer that the nonuser taxpayers pay for it?