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Majority of public comments critical of Mid-States Corridor project in Jasper

More than one hundred area residents were in the audience for Thursday's public hearing at the Jasper Art Center. (Brock E.W. Turner, WFIU/WTIU News)

An overwhelming number of residents spoke out against the Mid-States Corridor road project in Jasper on Thursday.

Residents say the highway’s close proximity to US 231 — and the environmental impact that would occur because of the project — makes it problematic.

However, many city officials and pro-business groups in the area cite the highway’s potential benefits to economic growth.

The two sides disagree over whether the addition of the highway makes traveling in the area safer.

Many of the residents speaking at the event say their voices aren’t being heard and the interests of a few businesses in the area are being weighed more heavily—that’s a claim Ed Green a spokesperson for the project team rebuts.

"We’re really, really early," Green said. "Everything that was said here tonight, everything that was said in Oden at the recent public meeting that all is addressed in the final economic impact study that is done during this phase."

The project’s public comment period ends May 31.

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