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Author Topic: Mid-States Corridor study underway  (Read 1474 times)

jnewkirk77

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Mid-States Corridor study underway
« on: July 15, 2019, 11:23:25 AM »

The proposed Mid-States Corridor now has a Tier 1 study underway. The proposed project, which is the first to be funded by a Regional Development Authority as authorized by the Indiana General Assembly in 2017, would connect I-165 in Kentucky with I-64 and I-69.

Lochmueller Group is doing the study, which should be done in 2021.

http://www.insideindianabusiness.com/story/40772909/proposed-southwest-indiana-highway-project-gains-speed

A map is available of the preliminary alternatives at the above link. The project is divided into three sections, which are as follows:

Section 1 - KY State Line to I-64
1A - Existing US 231 through Spencer County, which would be upgraded as needed

Section 2 - I-64 to Haysville
2A - Western bypass of Huntingburg and Jasper, north to SR 56 at Haysville
2B - Follows US 231 through Huntingburg and Jasper, north to Haysville
2C - Eastern bypass of Huntingburg and Jasper, north to Haysville

Section 3 - Haysville to either Petersburg, Washington, Crane, Bedford or Mitchell
3A - Follows SR 56 west from Jasper to I-69 at Petersburg
3B - New terrain route NW from Haysville to I-69 at Washington
3C - Follows US 231 north from Haysville, western bypass of Loogootee, and 231 north to I-69 at Crane
3D - Follows US 231 north from Haysville, eastern bypass of Loogootee, and 231 north to I-69 at Crane
3E - Follows US 231 north from Haysville, eastern bypass of Loogootee, and US 50/150 and SR 450 to SR 37 at Bedford
3F - Follows SR 56 east from Haysville through French Lick/West Baden Springs, NE over new terrain to SR 37 at Mitchell
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Life in Paradise

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Re: Mid-States Corridor study underway
« Reply #1 on: July 15, 2019, 12:21:30 PM »

From driving this area over 40 years, the Jasper/Huntingburg connection to I-64 should have been addressed 30+ years ago due to the various factories, etc in this area.  In the 70s a super two was put in between the two towns and bypassed some auto dealerships, but did nothing whatsoever to lessen the traffic in Huntingburg or Jasper.

The less expensive way to connect it to I-69 would be either going on highway 56 or straight to Washington (a lot of the terrain is relatively flat).  That being said, perhaps the best benefit would be to run it up near French Lick (got to have those tourism/casino tax dollars) and hook up near Mitchell or do an east bypass of Loogootee and shoot it along US 50, which would benefit that rural area and enhance the US-50 corridor across the state (but you are building through the Hoosier National Forest and the work might mess up Bluespring Caverns near Bedford).
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cabiness42

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Re: Mid-States Corridor study underway
« Reply #2 on: July 15, 2019, 03:02:25 PM »

I can see doing a bypass of Huntingburg and Jasper, but six-laning the rest of I-65 and I-70 should be a much bigger priority than converting any other parts of 231 to freeway.
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jnewkirk77

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Re: Mid-States Corridor study underway
« Reply #3 on: July 15, 2019, 03:59:01 PM »

I can see doing a bypass of Huntingburg and Jasper, but six-laning the rest of I-65 and I-70 should be a much bigger priority than converting any other parts of 231 to freeway.

The RDA has to figure out how to fund it. My understanding is that these authorities are a way to keep from eating up money intended for other things. I agree 65 and 70 need to be done ASAP.
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jnewkirk77

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Re: Mid-States Corridor study underway
« Reply #4 on: July 15, 2019, 04:20:34 PM »

From driving this area over 40 years, the Jasper/Huntingburg connection to I-64 should have been addressed 30+ years ago due to the various factories, etc in this area.  In the 70s a super two was put in between the two towns and bypassed some auto dealerships, but did nothing whatsoever to lessen the traffic in Huntingburg or Jasper.

The less expensive way to connect it to I-69 would be either going on highway 56 or straight to Washington (a lot of the terrain is relatively flat).  That being said, perhaps the best benefit would be to run it up near French Lick (got to have those tourism/casino tax dollars) and hook up near Mitchell or do an east bypass of Loogootee and shoot it along US 50, which would benefit that rural area and enhance the US-50 corridor across the state (but you are building through the Hoosier National Forest and the work might mess up Bluespring Caverns near Bedford).

At first look, I think it's gonna be hard to pick a route. None of them will be cheap. I think the eastern options are going to fall away because of cost and environmental factors that just don't exist going west, northwest or north from Dubois County.
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SW Indiana

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Re: Mid-States Corridor study underway
« Reply #5 on: July 15, 2019, 05:50:52 PM »

From driving this area over 40 years, the Jasper/Huntingburg connection to I-64 should have been addressed 30+ years ago due to the various factories, etc in this area.  In the 70s a super two was put in between the two towns and bypassed some auto dealerships, but did nothing whatsoever to lessen the traffic in Huntingburg or Jasper.

The less expensive way to connect it to I-69 would be either going on highway 56 or straight to Washington (a lot of the terrain is relatively flat).  That being said, perhaps the best benefit would be to run it up near French Lick (got to have those tourism/casino tax dollars) and hook up near Mitchell or do an east bypass of Loogootee and shoot it along US 50, which would benefit that rural area and enhance the US-50 corridor across the state (but you are building through the Hoosier National Forest and the work might mess up Bluespring Caverns near Bedford).

You are absolutely correct a bypass should've been completed decades ago. With that said, I feel a 4-lane bypass through Dubois county would be sufficient, then super-two lane 231 from haysville to I-69. I just don't see the need build a 4 lane any further. The cost and difficulty to do so would be too high.
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Life in Paradise

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Re: Mid-States Corridor study underway
« Reply #6 on: July 15, 2019, 07:37:55 PM »

I don't see the need for the project to go beyond a bypass of Jasper either unless their goal is to push a corridor such as they did in Northern Indiana with US 24 and US 30.  In that case, the corridor would be NE or N.  I don't think that there is enough traffic for it to be warranted otherwise.
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jnewkirk77

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Re: Mid-States Corridor study underway
« Reply #7 on: July 15, 2019, 10:18:50 PM »

I don't see the need for the project to go beyond a bypass of Jasper either unless their goal is to push a corridor such as they did in Northern Indiana with US 24 and US 30.  In that case, the corridor would be NE or N.  I don't think that there is enough traffic for it to be warranted otherwise.

Nowhere in what I've read on this project do they call it a freeway, at least not yet. I believe a good Super 2, or a 4 lane with at-grade intersections like 231 in Spencer County, is the way to go.

Personally, given the recent development of Crane and its surrounding area, I'd take the thing straight north and tie in at I-69 there.

EDIT: Here is an article that really nicely explains what they're aiming for with this corridor ...
https://www.duboiscountyfreepress.com/midstate-corridor-updates-and-explanations/

« Last Edit: July 15, 2019, 11:20:50 PM by jnewkirk77 »
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froggie

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Re: Mid-States Corridor study underway
« Reply #8 on: July 16, 2019, 02:16:38 AM »

It's worth nothing that a different "Northwest" routing (parallel to and just north of IN 56 and IN 356) was proposed 5 years ago as part of the "I-67" proposal.
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Life in Paradise

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Re: Mid-States Corridor study underway
« Reply #9 on: July 16, 2019, 12:59:26 PM »

Quote

Nowhere in what I've read on this project do they call it a freeway, at least not yet. I believe a good Super 2, or a 4 lane with at-grade intersections like 231 in Spencer County, is the way to go.

Personally, given the recent development of Crane and its surrounding area, I'd take the thing straight north and tie in at I-69 there.

EDIT: Here is an article that really nicely explains what they're aiming for with this corridor ...
https://www.duboiscountyfreepress.com/midstate-corridor-updates-and-explanations/

At some point I expect to see a push from the French Lick/Paoli businesses to have the road run through their area before going up to Orleans/Mitchell on 37.  They will look at the road as an extension of current 37 and a direct route to Indianapolis customers (Paoli Peaks-ski resort, French Lick Springs Casino).

I also looked at the timetable, and they have a three year time looking at the first phase.  While they are doing this, I-69 will be well into the construction between Martinsville and Indianapolis, perhaps even in the final phase of hooking into I-465.  One project finishes, time to get another one.  (Forgetting that the Ohio River Bridge for I-69 still looms).
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edwaleni

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Re: Mid-States Corridor study underway
« Reply #10 on: July 16, 2019, 01:40:55 PM »

I kind of chuckled when they called Jasper and Huntingsburg "economic powerhouses".

The biggest bang for the buck would be to upgrade US231 to US50.

Why they would consider IN-450 (old US-50) as an upgrade option is beyond me unless they think it will bring new connectivity from the south to Bedford.

Unless GM Powertrain makes trannys for the plant in Bowling Green, I can't see any other reason.

Unfortunately Bedford is dying. They have lost 3 railroads and only have US 50 and IN-37 from the north.

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abqtraveler

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Re: Mid-States Corridor study underway
« Reply #11 on: July 16, 2019, 09:48:34 PM »

Quote

Nowhere in what I've read on this project do they call it a freeway, at least not yet. I believe a good Super 2, or a 4 lane with at-grade intersections like 231 in Spencer County, is the way to go.

Personally, given the recent development of Crane and its surrounding area, I'd take the thing straight north and tie in at I-69 there.

EDIT: Here is an article that really nicely explains what they're aiming for with this corridor ...
https://www.duboiscountyfreepress.com/midstate-corridor-updates-and-explanations/

At some point I expect to see a push from the French Lick/Paoli businesses to have the road run through their area before going up to Orleans/Mitchell on 37.  They will look at the road as an extension of current 37 and a direct route to Indianapolis customers (Paoli Peaks-ski resort, French Lick Springs Casino).

I also looked at the timetable, and they have a three year time looking at the first phase.  While they are doing this, I-69 will be well into the construction between Martinsville and Indianapolis, perhaps even in the final phase of hooking into I-465.  One project finishes, time to get another one.  (Forgetting that the Ohio River Bridge for I-69 still looms).

I'm a little perplexed that this group of local officials in southern Indiana are undertaking a Tier I EIS for a potential I-67, as from what I've read previously on the subject is that it appears to me that the FHWA and INDOT are not exactly onboard with the idea of building another interstate in the area.  So how do these local officials intend to complete their EIS, when an EIS normally requires a federal agency sponsor (in this case, the FHWA)?
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froggie

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Re: Mid-States Corridor study underway
« Reply #12 on: July 17, 2019, 08:06:28 AM »

^ EIS's don't necessarily need a Federal or even state agency sponsor.  Coordination with, sure, but I know of EIS's in Minnesota where the RGU (Responsible Government Unit) was at the county-level.

In this case, my guess is this regional development authority that covers the Midstate Corridor is the primary EIS sponsor...it appears state legislation passed in 2017 allows such.
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jnewkirk77

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Re: Mid-States Corridor study underway
« Reply #13 on: July 17, 2019, 11:27:01 AM »

^ EIS's don't necessarily need a Federal or even state agency sponsor.  Coordination with, sure, but I know of EIS's in Minnesota where the RGU (Responsible Government Unit) was at the county-level.

In this case, my guess is this regional development authority that covers the Midstate Corridor is the primary EIS sponsor...it appears state legislation passed in 2017 allows such.

Exactly. The RDA is paying for it - $7 million coming from cities, counties and interested parties (companies and so forth) along the route. INDOT is working with them on the study, but the local group is covering the cost.
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jnewkirk77

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Re: Mid-States Corridor study underway
« Reply #14 on: July 17, 2019, 11:38:16 AM »

I kind of chuckled when they called Jasper and Huntingsburg "economic powerhouses".

The biggest bang for the buck would be to upgrade US231 to US50.

Why they would consider IN-450 (old US-50) as an upgrade option is beyond me unless they think it will bring new connectivity from the south to Bedford.

Unless GM Powertrain makes trannys for the plant in Bowling Green, I can't see any other reason.

Unfortunately Bedford is dying. They have lost 3 railroads and only have US 50 and IN-37 from the north.

Well, they really kind of are economic powerhouses. Outside of Vanderburgh and Gibson counties, Dubois County has more industry than any other county in SW Indiana.

As I said before, I HIGHLY doubt any of the eastern/northeastern routes make the final cut. I can't imagine anyone wanting to take on an I-69-type environmental battle again, which I think you'd find whether you went up 450 or 50.

GM in Bedford makes parts for just about every car the General builds. In fact, they invested $127 million just 4 years ago to make big improvements to the plant for future products. That said, I don't believe it would be worth the investment in a new highway just on the basis of shipping parts to Bowling Green for a car that may or may not sell 20,000 units a year going forward.
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coolkevs

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Re: Mid-States Corridor study underway
« Reply #15 on: July 17, 2019, 12:04:03 PM »

Given how busy I-65 is in Kentucky between Bowling Green and Louisville, I don't see a problem with a bypass to points north for I-65. Whether that's called I-67 or not, that's anyone's guess. Unfortunately to get to I-69, it really has to go further west than would liked. Hey, you can shunpike the Louisville bridge at Owensboro - that makes all those billions worth it, right?  :-D
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The Ghostbuster

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Re: Mid-States Corridor study underway
« Reply #16 on: July 17, 2019, 04:17:51 PM »

This corridor should not be an Interstate IMO. I think they should just keep it US 231. Especially if the entire corridor is not built to freeway standards.
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andy

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Re: Mid-States Corridor study underway
« Reply #17 on: August 07, 2019, 11:19:50 PM »

I attended Monday's meeting in Washington.
There was not much real information provided, only an invitation to comment and some one-on-one conversations.

You can get as much by visiting https://midstatescorridor.com/mapping/.

The mapping throws in some additional study corridors, adding;
  • US 50 from Loogootee to Bedford
  • US50/ SR60 from Loogootee to Mitchell
  • A southern approach to French Lick
  • Wider study area from Mitchell to Orleans
  • A southern approach to Petersburg (staying on SR56 saves building a new exchange to I69)
  • Western Jasper to Washington (roughly following SR257)
I can also echo the previous statement that there is no presumption this is an interstate study. In fact, I would assume the target of ROD by Summer 2021 would preclude any proposal for an Interstate.

First, I'd say forget the new terrain through Southern Daviess County over reclaimed coal mines.
Personally, I don't see much economic value added by the western routes to Petersburg or Washington. These are only appealing because they are shorter distances for road improvements.
SR257 to Washington, maybe. But as drawn, it isolates the fast growing north side of Jasper and would likely add a requirement for a new terrain east/west corridor to somewhere around Ireland to remedy this defect.
There's been a call to clean up US 231 for years. A bypass East or West of Loogootee should only need 3 or 4 miles of new terrain. The rest should be straitened, leveled and shouldered. I know, easier said than done, but no other proposed routes would be easy either.
Likewise, updates to US 50 have been discussed for years, but I don't see it as productive to this project.
SR60, SR450? I don't know where those come from. Just adding crazy routes to make the final selection look good?
French lick is interesting in a few other ways. A new terrain from French Lick to Orleans/Mitchell would also double as an extension of SR145 and cut travel time from points north to the casinos and tourist attractions including Patoka Lake.

My money is on a mix super 2/3/4 lane improvements to US231.
However I won't be surprised by similar improvements of SR56 to French Lick and 10 to 13 miles of new terrain from French Lick to the Orleans/Mitchell area. For those questioning environmental impact: SR145 was build with similar "concerns", so it can be done. The other side note: what would this mean to the routing of SR37 through Paoli?


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Life in Paradise

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Re: Mid-States Corridor study underway
« Reply #18 on: August 08, 2019, 03:03:16 PM »

I also could see the French Lick/Paoli option gaining ground since you have the two large casinos there, other tourist operations (Paoli Peaks), and some manufacturing in the area.  That would tie in with the IN-37 corridor that ends its four lane in Mitchell and would be a significant mileage away from the I-69 corridor so there would be better highway service to other backward areas.  I would think the super two with turn/hill passing lanes would be sufficient, except for the I-64 to Jasper (including the bypass) area, and that should be 4 lane.  That stretch should have been done prior to I-69 being built.
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jnewkirk77

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Re: Mid-States Corridor study underway
« Reply #19 on: August 09, 2019, 08:47:57 AM »

There was a Paoli bypass project (INDOT even went so far as to number it as SR 237) on the books several years ago, but I don't know what ever happened to it.
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royo6022

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Re: Mid-States Corridor study underway
« Reply #20 on: October 25, 2019, 05:46:29 PM »

As I'm sure we are all aware by now, the Tier 1 study is underway for the Midstates Corridor. Nothing new there... but I was curious the other day and got onto the INDOT's current projects website to see if I could find anything else interesting. Sure enough, I did.

https://calendar.in.gov/site/indot/event/public-hearing---us-231-intersection-improvement-at-sr-70-and-cr-800-north-in-spencer-county/

This link sends you to the INDOT website and shows a meeting that was held 2 days ago about adding MORE J-turns on US 231 south of I 64, at the intersection of IN 70 in Chrisney. Now my thought is, if they are planning to convert that stretch of highway to an interstate-standard stretch of road in the near future, why would they go to the trouble of adding something that will just get in their way in the future? What do you all think about this?
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Life in Paradise

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Re: Mid-States Corridor study underway
« Reply #21 on: October 26, 2019, 01:14:03 PM »

As I'm sure we are all aware by now, the Tier 1 study is underway for the Midstates Corridor. Nothing new there... but I was curious the other day and got onto the INDOT's current projects website to see if I could find anything else interesting. Sure enough, I did.

https://calendar.in.gov/site/indot/event/public-hearing---us-231-intersection-improvement-at-sr-70-and-cr-800-north-in-spencer-county/

This link sends you to the INDOT website and shows a meeting that was held 2 days ago about adding MORE J-turns on US 231 south of I 64, at the intersection of IN 70 in Chrisney. Now my thought is, if they are planning to convert that stretch of highway to an interstate-standard stretch of road in the near future, why would they go to the trouble of adding something that will just get in their way in the future? What do you all think about this?
I don't normally see INDOT in this area of the state thinking long term, but short term (I think those people are located elsewhere in Indiana).  The other side of it is that they aren't serious about upgrading US-231 to full freeway status anytime soon.  I would be surprised to see any major change to that stretch in the next 20 years.  About the best to wish for is a four lane extension to Jasper (which was needed back in the 80s).
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