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Recent Rains Lead To I-69 Construction Sediment Runoff

Frequent rains have caused some runoff from I-69 construction, but INDOT officials say they have taken all necessary precautions.

i-69 construction

Photo: Bill Shaw

Opponents of I-69 say runoff is causing environmental damage to the area's waterways, but INDOT officials say they have taken all necessary precautions.

Frequent rain is leading to sediment runoff near Interstate 69.

I-69 opponent Thomas Tokarski, a resident of Monroe County, said neighbors have experienced overflow onto their properties. He said what is going on in the system under the ground cannot be much better that what he sees above it.

“All this is getting into the surface waters, and it’s affecting the life in those waters,” Tokarski said. “That is a serious environmental problem.”

Tokarski questioned state efforts to protect areas surrounding the project.

“Erosion control was supposed to prevent something like this from happening,” Tokarski said. “Clearly, it didn’t work. And now we’ve got major problems.”

Indiana Department of Transportation spokesman Will Wingfield said INDOT has several different measures in place to control sediment from leaving the job site, including silt vents, ditch checks and check dams. He said INDOT is taking extra steps to reinforce the erosion controls.

“We’re continuing to coordinate with [regulatory agencies] as we have through the design and development to make sure that we’re honoring the commitments, and thus far we have,” he said.

He added that the incident is part of working in an environmentally sensitive area.

“Weather comes on years at different times,” Wingfield said. “We’re working through that, and we don’t anticipate it will impact the overall project schedule.”

This is not the first problem encountered during the span of the project. In January, just months after the first three construction sections opened, officials discovered sizable cracks along a portion of the road.

The first 67-miles of I-69 from Evansville to Crane opened in November.

Section Four of Interstate-69, a 27-mile stretch of highway from Crane to State Road 37 just south of Bloomington, is expected to be complete by the end of 2014.

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