INDOT holds hearings on I-69 project

MARTINSVILLE, Ind. (WISH) – INDOT is gathering public opinion by holding two public meetings this week on the state’s expansion of I-69, from Martinsville to Indianapolis.

It’s part of a project that’s been ongoing for years, to expand I-69 all the way from Evansville to Indianapolis. This is the final section of the extension.

INDOT is in the very early stages of the process with this section. They’re conducting the second phase of a two-part environmental review to look at potential impacts and find the best route possible. INDOT spokesperson Will Wingfield says they haven’t yet determined the exact path it will take.

Ten years ago, they identified a preliminary route that follows generally State Road 37 between Martinsville and Indianapolis.

Several years ago, lawmakers passed a law that prevents the extension through Perry Township on the south side of Marion County, without authorization from the general assembly.

This year, a house committee voted to pass a bill that would override that law.

“My bill basically removes the barrier of allowing it [I-69] to go up 37, if INDOT says that’s the appropriate place for it through their studies. It doesn’t say it will go there, it just says it’s open for total review by them,” said Representative John Price.

Rep. Mike Speedy voted against the bill that would override the 2004 law. “I’m concerned that I-69 could take away a substantial amount of commercial tax base in Perry Township. When you remove commercial tax base from a bedroom community it increases the property tax burden on single family homes or the rest of the dwellings.”

As the discussion continues at the statehouse, INDOT says they’re holding the first of several public meetings they’ll hold over the next two to three years on the development.

Monday evening’s public meeting will be held at Center Grove High School. It begins with an open house at 5:30 p.m., and a presentation and public comment session will begin at 6:30 p.m.

Another public hearing Wednesday in Martinsville. More details on that hearing and how to send comments, here.