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I-69 Opposition Fighting Legal Battle Despite Road Progress

A lawsuit being filed in federal court argues INDOT and the Federal Highway Administration did not properly disclose environmental impact studies to the public.

i-69

Photo: WFIU/WTIU News

The three sections of I-69 from Evansville to Crane opened Nov. 19, 2012.

Despite of the completion of a major section of Interstate 69 from Evansville to Crane, opponents of the highway are still fighting the road.  The environmental group Citizens for Appropriate Rural Roads is filing a new a lawsuit challenging the environmental impact the interstate will have on south and central Indiana.

Nearly two dozen South-Central Indiana citizens gathered Tuesday night at the Monroe County Public Library to hear updates on CARR’s latest challenge to I-69.

CARR lawyer Mick Harrison says a lawsuit, being filed in federal court this month, argues INDOT and the Federal Highway Administration did not properly disclose air pollution studies to the public during its planning stages for I-69.

“The purpose of the injunction is to force the federal agencies to come into compliance with the federal laws, the federal environmental laws, and until they do, they should stop construction,” he says.

Harrison says if an injunction is granted, he hopes INDOT would not expand the interstate any further than where it currently stops at Crane naval base.

CARR member Brian Garvey says even though the motion to stop the road is coming late in the game, his group is not giving up hope that it can prevent the interstate from continuing.

“With I-69, if it stopped now, it would stop now, and we could use the monies where we really need it.”

Harrison says he’s hopeful U.S. District Judge Sarah Evans-Barker will rule on the motion in early 2013.

INDOT officials say the department has a policy against commenting on pending litigation.

Dan Goldblatt

Dan Goldblatt is the Multi-media Producer for WFIU/WTIU News. A graduate of Indiana University, he studied journalism and anthropology. He currently lives in Bloomington with his cat, June Carter.

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