The Indiana Department of Transportation is recommending State Road 37 between Martinsville and Indianapolis as the best route for the final section of the I-69 extension. INDOT says the route best meets performance measures "while minimizing cost and impacts to the human and natural environment."
The recommendation comes after months of analysis of five preliminary routes as well as input from the public in the spring and fall of 2015. INDOT Commissioner Brandye Hendrickson says using State Road 37 is the "logical choice."
"This route offers the strongest opportunities for economic growth, most significant safety improvements, and greatest reduction in congestion of all route alternatives evaluated," says Hendrickson. "After years of study and input from thousands of Hoosiers, INDOT has determined that the State Road 37 option produces the best return on investment for Indiana taxpayers."
A screening report released by INDOT Tuesday says the route could have the lowest environmental impact, "but it could require the largest number of commercial property relocations." Under the plan, 279 residences and 96 businesses would need to be relocated.
The report shows using the route would avoid nearly 1,400 crashes each year, reduce travel time from Martinsville to downtown Indianapolis by 11 minutes, and increase wages in the four-county study area by $1.7 billion over 20 years.
INDOT says it expects to make a final recommendation for public input in 2017 with proposed locations for highway lanes, exits and access roads. INDOT will hold public meetings next week to hear additional input on the route recommendation.
- Monday, April 4 at Perry Meridian High School, 401 W. Meridian School Road in Indianapolis
- Tuesday, April 5 at Martinsville High School, 1360 E. Gray Street in Martinsville
Doors for both meetings will open at 6:00 p.m. for an open house session in the school gymnasium. A formal presentation and public comment session will be held in the school auditorium at 7:00 p.m.