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Route For Final Section Of I-69 Could Be Changed

Indiana Department of Transportation officials say they are keeping their options open when it comes to deciding the route for the final leg of Interstate 69.

When the initial route for I-69 was identified 10 years ago, the interstate’s last leg traveled from just south of Martinsville to Indianapolis via State Road 37.

INDOT spokesman Will Wingfield says since then, development and legal concerns have changed.

“So we’re going to take a fairly broad view of this corridor between Martinsville and Indianapolis and find the best way to connect I-69 to the rest of the interstate network here in Indiana and do it in a way that minimizes impacts to homes, businesses, to the natural environment and do it in a cost effect way," he says.

INDOT is launching a study to determine the environmental impact for the last section of I-69. The entire review process will likely take a two to three years.

Martinsville Mayor Phil Deckard says the news came as a shock.

“We’ve made so many improvements for our city, working with what we thought was a direction by INDOT, on infrastructure, getting ready to prepare for secondary roads, for access points, land usage and that type of thing," he says.

Deckard says he and Martinsville’s business leaders will keep reminding INDOT officials of those investments in hopes that the road will be built through the city.

Rep. John Price, R-Greenwood, has proposed a bill that would remove a hurdle for the construction of I-69 along SR 37. According to the Herald Times, his measure would "remove the requirement that the Indiana General Assembly must enact a statute authorizing construction of I-69 in Perry Township." 

Sen. Patricia Miller, R-Indianapolis, has said she would oppose the measure because construction would disrupt housing and businesses.

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