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.