Plans to connect Indianapolis to Evansville via Interstate 69 have been in the works for decades. In 2002, Tom and Sandra Tokarski organized a group of South Central Indiana residents to fight a plan to build the road on new terrain. Their group, Citizens for Appropriate Rural Roads, or CARR, has been the forefront opposition to then Governor Mitch Daniels’ plan to construct the highway.
Now, less than five years after the highway broke ground in Evansville, construction has begun on the Tokarski’s property.
“It tears your heart out. This is everything we have worked our whole life for,” he says. “We have lived here for decades, this is what we believed in, this is what we wanted to preserve, it was our legacy for the future, for our children, and our grandchildren. It’s all being obliterated for I-69.”
The Tokarskis plan to move before the highway is complete. Thomas is a self proclaimed environmentalist.
“We have preserved our woods in a way, we have tried to control erosion, we have let the trees grow, we have let the wildlife live here. We never intended to cut this timber, we were going to let it grow, we consider this a living work of art,” he says.
While we visited the Tokarski’s property Friday, workers who were there clearing trees tried to block the WFIU/WTIU News crew from filming the construction.