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INDOT Will Not Pursue I-69 Lawsuit Against Monroe County

The Indiana Department of Transportation filed a motion today to dismiss a lawsuit it had filed against Monroe County because of a noise ordinance.

truck

Photo: Jimmy Jenkins

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

The Indiana Department of Transportation is backing away from a lawsuit it filed against Monroe County’s noise ordinance after county officials amended the ordinance last week.

INDOT and Monroe County filed a joint motion today to dismiss the lawsuit that argued the county’s noise ordinance was hindering the construction of Interstate 69 and creating safety hazards for construction workers.

Monroe County first implemented the ordinance that limited the amount of noise that could be made between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. after residents complained construction crews were keeping them awake at night.

County commissioners voted Friday to amend that ordinance to exempt safety signals such as truck backup signals as well as noise resulting from state projects—essentially exempting any noise made during I-69 construction.

“It was a situation where it was going to cost a lot of money to pursue the case further and the outcome was not certain in any sense of the word,” Monroe County Attorney David Schilling says. “Even if you proceeded and prevailed, the situation could have been changed easily by some new legislation at the state level. It seemed like the best use of county resources.”

INDOT spokesman Will Wingfield says the changes to the ordinance satisfied the state’s concerns.

“We always want to try to open dialogue on issues related to any of our projects in the area, so this created an avenue of dialogue,” he says. “We were talking before the lawsuit was filed and continued our conversations afterward and so we’ll continue to do that in an effort to work in the best interest of the citizens of the county and amount the different governments that are involved.”

Wingfield says the noise ordinance delayed construction on I-69, but the weather is the largest contributing factor to construction delays.

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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