INDOT Asks Judge To Halt Monroe County I-69 Noise Ordinance

The Indiana Department of Transportation is fighting Monroe County's noise ordinance that has largely stopped night construction on I-69.

truck on I-69

Photo: Jimmy Jenkins

A construction truck moves dirt along the route for I-69.

The Indiana Department of Transportation is asking a judge to halt a noise ordinance Monroe County implemented in response to Interstate 69 construction.

INDOT filed a motion for a temporary restraining order last week and Marion Superior Court judge David Dryer is hearing the case at 1:30 p.m. tomorrow.

Monroe County approved the ordinance last month after residents complained about how much noise I-69 construction crews are making at night.

The ordinance limits the noise that can be made between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.

INDOT spokesman Will Wingfield says the ordinance has largely brought overnight construction to a halt.

“These requirements improperly apply to INDOT to build road in a manner that’s not safe. We need to have things such as backup alarms to build the corridor,” he says.

Wingfield adds that the legislature has provided INDOT the sole authority to build and maintain state highways, and Monroe County’s measure is hindering that.

INDOT is still assessing how much time and money the ordinance is costing the state.

Monroe County resident and long-time I-69 opponent Tom Tokarski says the state should not be concerned with a slight delay if it improves the quality of life for residents that live near the highway. He says the changes are welcomed.

“It’s peace and quiet again. Let me tell you it makes a huge difference. We’re not being awakened up at 2 and 3 o’clock in the morning with this awful banging and screeching and the constant beep beep beeping,” Tokarski says. “People cannot sleep and that affects their health.”

Tokarski has been fighting the construction of I-69 for more than two decades and has filed numerous lawsuits against the state. He says he cannot predict how the judge will rule, but he is not hopeful.

“It’s been our experience that the courts pretty much give INDOT whatever they want,” Tokarski says.

The judge could decide as early as tomorrow whether the state can bypass the county ordinance and resume work.

Gretchen Frazee

Gretchen Frazee is a reporter/producer for WFIU and WTIU news. Prior to her current role, Frazee worked as the associate online content coordinator for WFIU/WTIU. She graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia where she studied multimedia journalism and anthropology. You can follow her on Twitter @gretchenfrazee.

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  • Dialogos68

    I was born and raised in the Bloomington area and I can say one thing….. I-69 opponent Tom Tokarski is a CANCER for the entire region. These self-serving Left wing kooks are bankrupting Monroe county just like their kook allies in the White House are bankrupting our Nation. I69 was always going to happen with or without the support from the wacko far Left Bloomington extremist. But this will not stop them from acting like spoiled children who refuse to work with the system. Most residence in the area are for the highway, though as usual the Leftist get the attention. I69 will bring jobs to the area and it will make the trip to Indy much safer and save fuel too. I would like to apologize to all the nearby county citizens who suffer because of the militant immaturity of the libs in Bloomington.

  • Nick

    I-69 has always been overwhelming unpopular in the area – it is too bad you are not as connected and/or knowledgeable of the people who live in the area, considering you were born here. Tokarski speaks for a large majority of Bloomington residences, and it is a shame that you think anyone who wants quiet at night is a leftist extremist. But I digress…we can discuss your horribly-premature-and-unreasonable views at a later date.

    I-69 is overwhelming harmful for the environment and natural habitats, and building another highway is actually one of the most INefficient means of improving transportation. There are a plethora of better options that could have been developed for quicker, cheaper, and more efficient travel between the two cities – high speed rail, for example.

    And, you claim that I-69 will allow for a safer trip between Indy and Bloomington – funny that you say that, considering the cost cutting measures taken by Daniels, and later Pence, have resulted in cheaper building materials and for the building of narrower lanes – this means that in 10 years time, we will be left with a multi-million dollar catastrophe-of-a-road that is in need of repairs.

    What a project…

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