As construction for Interstate 69 moves its way across southern Monroe County, permanent road closures are forcing some residents to rethink how they get around. As residents near the Monroe/Greene County line say the state did not give them advance warning about the closures.
Carter Road is a small, winding, sometimes gravel road that runs from State Road 45 in Greene County to Breeden Road in southwestern Monroe County. Michael Roberts rents a small home on Carter Road where he raises chickens and maintains a large vegetable garden. He says officials told him the road was closing just five days in advance.
“Unless we go to them, we don’t know anything,” he says. “In the past thee weeks they have cut our water line two or three times and didn’t tell us they were going to be digging around it or anything, I just feel that they don’t communicate with us at all, they don’t tell us anything.”
Other residents in both Monroe and Greene counties along the road expressed similar sentiments.
The right of way for the interstate, Roberts says, will be barely 100 feet from his front door. Since he is not a landowner, the state need not compensate him for any inconvenience brought by having an interstate as a new neighbor.
“Its just like, because we rent, we’re not even United States citizens, we don’t count for anything,” he says. “We are still taxpayers, we still live here. I’m a veteran of the army, its just crazy the way things have gone down around here.”
Officials from the Indiana Department of Transportation say plans to close the road have been in planning books for some time now. Spokesperson Cher Elliott says the final road closure plans were released at a public hearing in August of 2010.