People will have a chance tonight to weigh in on how section five of Interstate 69 from Bloomington to Martinsville will look. Officials from the Indiana Department of Transportation will present a preliminary plan, along with several alternatives.
The public meeting begins at 5:30 tonight, at the Monroe County Fairgrounds. Representatives from INDOT will be on hand to explain some of the possible route details and interchanges along the corridor.
Section five, which will generally follow the path of state road 37, begins just south of Bloomington and will connect to state road 39 on the south side of Martinsville.
INDOT spokesperson Cher Elliot says the public input taken at tonight’s meeting will be used to determine final route details.
“We need to identify impacts to existing crossroads, as well as business along the corridor,” she says. “Then, there will be things to determine as far as access on and off the roadway as well.”
INDOT says no options are off the table, and some hybrid of all plans will most likely be the end result.
The maps with all the possible alternatives can be found here.
INDOT has suggested that the current northbound lanes of SR37 could become an access road for businesses along the east side of I-69. Businesses such as Oliver Winery, Worm’s Way, and Thompson Furniture would use those roads to connect with an interchange of I-69.
The current southbound lane of SR37 would then be upgraded to interstate specifications and used at the new northbound lanes, and a new set of southbound lanes would be built to the west.
However, Bloomington Mayor Mark Kruzan says no one from INDOT has made it clear yet who will modify the new access roads, or who will maintain them.
“Even if the state is picking up the tab on some of those access roads, which is a big question mark, the impact on local roads that clearly are not the responsibility of state government is a huge question mark,” he says.
Elliot stresses that no final plan has been set, and this is just the start of the public comment period. The official public comment period for section five required under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) will begin later this year Elliot says.