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Author Topic: Update on I-69 Extension in Indiana  (Read 880170 times)

rawmustard

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Re: Update on I-69 Extension in Indiana
« Reply #50 on: October 24, 2011, 09:15:52 AM »

SR 58 bridge over I-69 (10/22):
(snip image)

They've made significant progress since I passed through here September 4 (pilings were just starting to be driven)! :thumbsup:
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triplemultiplex

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Re: Update on I-69 Extension in Indiana
« Reply #51 on: October 24, 2011, 06:11:41 PM »

Exactly. Also, that particular I-69 route was partially selected so people from around the state can safely and efficiently travel to IU. Whether or not you like Bloomington, that is where the largest university in the state is located. If that weren't the case, perhaps the I-70/US 41 route may have worked, but it still would have been sub-optimal.
And because that new terrain routing is the whole reason this I-69 thing snowballed into the monstrous insult to numbering convention it will become.  That was the original dream in Evansville, wasn't it? A freeway to Indy.
Gotta wonder if we'd even be talking about I-69 today if Evansville didn't get hosed by the routing of I-64.

Well at least we'll finally get an interstate connection between Houston and points northwest out of it.  That Houston - Shreveport segment in conjunction with I-49 to Texarkana should've been in the orignal plan, thus creating a logical route between Chicago and Houston, two of our biggest cities.
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vtk

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Re: Update on I-69 Extension in Indiana
« Reply #52 on: October 24, 2011, 06:59:55 PM »

Chicago and Houston, two of our biggest cities.

Third and fourth largest today.  In the late 50s, probably second and unranked.
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RoadWarrior56

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Re: Update on I-69 Extension in Indiana
« Reply #53 on: October 24, 2011, 07:49:01 PM »

I-69 will be a long diagonal route.  Almost all diagonal interstates violate the numbering convention for much of their length.

As far as Evansville getting hosed by the I-64 routing, they really didn't get hosed.  The original routing though Vincennes would had hosed Evansville.  It got moved to its current location within 12 miles of the city, at least partially to provide better access to Evansville. However, it is true that Evansville did indeed feel "hosed" by the lack of a direct freeway connection to Indianapolis.

The four-laning of US 41 north to I-70 in the 1970's was an earlier attempt to alleviate that situation.  It was billed as an all four-lane route between Evansville and Indianapolis.  Governor Bowen said as much when he cut the ribbon on the last section of 41 to be four-laned (Shelburn bypass in 1975, as I recall).  And it was and is a four-lane route, but it is not as direct as the I-69 route will be and not all freeway.
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exit322

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Re: Update on I-69 Extension in Indiana
« Reply #54 on: October 25, 2011, 01:44:20 PM »

Chicago and Houston, two of our biggest cities.

Third and fourth largest today.  In the late 50s, probably second and unranked.

2 and 14.  But yeah, Houston's exploded.
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Grzrd

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Re: Update on I-69 Extension in Indiana
« Reply #55 on: October 26, 2011, 12:56:02 PM »

At yesterday's I-69 ceremony in Kentucky, INDOT officials hinted that they may use the "Kentucky model" to try and get an early I-69 designation for the State Road 37 segment of Sections 5 and 6 from Bloomington to Indianapolis:
http://www.carmitimes.com/area_news/x493114659/First-I-69-section-opens-in-Kentucky

Quote
Members of the Indiana Department of Transportation Interstate 69 project team joined Kentucky transportation officials Tuesday to celebrate and learn more about their successful efforts to extend the interstate highway through Kentucky.
I-69 signage is now being installed along 55 miles of Interstate 24 and the Wendell Ford/Western Kentucky Parkway, which is being upgraded to interstate standards.
"Indiana congratulates Kentucky on receiving federal approval to upgrade some of their existing parkways for I-69," said Samuel Sarvis, Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) deputy commissioner for major program management. "Kentucky's efforts show Indiana ways the existing State Road 37 might be transformed into I-69 Sections 5 and 6."
« Last Edit: February 04, 2012, 10:37:14 PM by Grzrd »
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NE2

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Re: Update on I-69 Extension in Indiana
« Reply #56 on: October 26, 2011, 01:23:40 PM »

Methinks somebody doesn't understand that Kentucky's parkways are full freeways...
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agentsteel53

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Re: Update on I-69 Extension in Indiana
« Reply #57 on: October 26, 2011, 01:26:29 PM »

Methinks somebody doesn't understand that Kentucky's parkways are full freeways...

were they already interstate standard?  I had thought some had been substandard, and therefore the Indiana DOT commissioner did have a point.
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TheStranger

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Re: Update on I-69 Extension in Indiana
« Reply #58 on: October 26, 2011, 02:25:02 PM »

Methinks somebody doesn't understand that Kentucky's parkways are full freeways...

were they already interstate standard?  I had thought some had been substandard, and therefore the Indiana DOT commissioner did have a point.

IIRC some of the parkways (but not all) have been upgraded, but in any case all of them are limited access (unlike SR 37 in Indiana, excepting the section along I-465 and the Bloomington bypass).

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Chris Sampang

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Re: Update on I-69 Extension in Indiana
« Reply #59 on: October 26, 2011, 02:39:21 PM »

Methinks somebody doesn't understand that Kentucky's parkways are full freeways...
were they already interstate standard?  I had thought some had been substandard, and therefore the Indiana DOT commissioner did have a point.
IIRC some of the parkways (but not all) have been upgraded, but in any case all of them are limited access (unlike SR 37 in Indiana, excepting the section along I-465 and the Bloomington bypass).
Given the current tension between INDOT and the Bloomington/ Monroe County MPO, maybe the Bloomington bypass was precisely his point!  :-D
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hbelkins

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Re: Update on I-69 Extension in Indiana
« Reply #60 on: October 26, 2011, 04:17:26 PM »

were they already interstate standard?  I had thought some had been substandard, and therefore the Indiana DOT commissioner did have a point.

The I-69 AASHTO application posted elsewhere spells out pretty nicely what the deficiencies are, what will have to be corrected, and what has been granted an exception.

But any way you slice it, even without any upgrades, the Kentucky parkways are closer to modern interstate standards than I-70 between New Stanton and Washington.  :bigass: :biggrin:
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mukade

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Re: Update on I-69 Extension in Indiana
« Reply #61 on: October 26, 2011, 07:31:49 PM »

Given the current tension between INDOT and the Bloomington/ Monroe County MPO, maybe the Bloomington bypass was precisely his point! 

That would be poetic justice, but maybe only a mile in Bloomington might qualify as freeway thanks to the Vernal Pike traffic light. Indiana does plan to upgrade SR 37 where it can in the next few years, though. See Martinsville residents may not see I-69 work for 4 years, INDOT official says. So maybe he is suggesting each section get the I-69 designation when completed.

Personally, I'd like to see I-164 become I-69 ASAP.
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Alex

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Re: Update on I-69 Extension in Indiana
« Reply #62 on: October 26, 2011, 08:05:40 PM »

Given the current tension between INDOT and the Bloomington/ Monroe County MPO, maybe the Bloomington bypass was precisely his point! 

That would be poetic justice, but maybe only a mile in Bloomington might qualify as freeway thanks to the Vernal Pike traffic light. Indiana does plan to upgrade SR 37 where it can in the next few years, though. See Martinsville residents may not see I-69 work for 4 years, INDOT official says. So maybe he is suggesting each section get the I-69 designation when completed.

Personally, I'd like to see I-164 become I-69 ASAP.

I don't want to see I-164 I-181'd just yet...  X-(

At least I clinched it in May and likely will drive it again next weekend.

mukade

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Re: Update on I-69 Extension in Indiana
« Reply #63 on: October 27, 2011, 03:38:21 PM »

This is significant news regarding I-69 to Bloomington: "Local officials canít stop construction of Interstate 69 to Ind. 37 in Monroe County, but they can influence how the interstate looks as it turns north and heads toward Indianapolis..."

See Bloomington could block federal funds for local leg of I-69 but to no avail

A better article is here:
UPDATE: Feds say state can build debated stretch of I-69 (IBJ)

"Bob Tally, Indiana division administrator of the Federal Highway Administration, told planning committee members on Wednesday that the [MPO] could not stop the state from building the highway section because the federal agency already has approved that segment..."
« Last Edit: October 27, 2011, 06:57:17 PM by mukade »
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mukade

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Re: Update on I-69 Extension in Indiana
« Reply #64 on: October 27, 2011, 03:51:23 PM »

Two recent I-69 editorials from southern Indiana newspapers:

From Bloomington:
EDITORIAL: Threat to local funding is real over I-69/Bloomington impasse

From Evansville:
EDITORIAL: Next governor likely to complete Interstate 69

The takeaway I see is that attitudes may have been adjusted slightly in Bloomington.
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codyg1985

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Re: Update on I-69 Extension in Indiana
« Reply #65 on: October 28, 2011, 07:48:28 AM »

I am a bit confused by this. I can see why Bloomington officials would be opposed to I-69 (added traffic), but wouldn't those issues have been worked out during the EIS phase? Was there plenty of citizen input? Did INDOT publicize the meetings well enough so that people would have the chance to attend?

I guess what I am saying is that...wouldn't this also be an opportunity to relieve some of the traffic problems along IN 37 in Bloomington?
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mukade

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Re: Update on I-69 Extension in Indiana
« Reply #66 on: October 28, 2011, 09:32:29 AM »

The disagreement is very old. These are the people that first did not want any form of I-69 in southern Indiana, and then proposed an I-70/US 41 route to avoid the new terrain routing through Bloomington when it was clear I-69 would be built. To say this issue has been contentious around Bloomington for many, many years would be an understatement. Rather than accepting the selected 2003 routing, this group has instead embarked on an obstuctionist strategy.

So logically, it would make a lot of sense - existing SR 37 with stoplights and cross traffic would be faster and safer, the hilly and curvy roads like SR 45 would be relegated to secondary status, and the largest university in the state would become more accessible to millions more citizens. None of that matters to them.

It should be noted that areas southwest of Bloomington are generally strong supporters of I-69.

Now that INDOT can build I-69 to SR 37 and can/will withhold all Federal money for roads and transit, the MPO has a big decision to make on November 4. Will they back down or continue? If they continue, INDOT cannot upgrade current SR 37 through Bloomington. It would be a pretty high price for the Bloomington MPO to continue these tactics given these two facts, but you just never know.

This week INDOT accepted bids on the next four miles past US 231 (looks like Crider & Crider is low bidder) so 72 miles of continuous interstate construction will be underway by early spring. By the end of 2011, at least 10 additional miles to SR 445 should be under contract.
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ShawnP

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Re: Update on I-69 Extension in Indiana
« Reply #67 on: October 28, 2011, 10:34:05 AM »

Having family in Bloomington. I would say a good sized portion of that town wants I-69. Problem is the opposition is very connected polictically and will hurt Bloomington in the long run.
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mukade

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Re: Update on I-69 Extension in Indiana
« Reply #68 on: November 03, 2011, 06:48:24 PM »

Having family in Bloomington. I would say a good sized portion of that town wants I-69. Problem is the opposition is very connected polictically and will hurt Bloomington in the long run.

Yes, that is correct.

Below are some interesting articles that show the split and general discord there. First, the background is a serious accident that critically injured four people on US 231 in the I-69 construction zone (near where previously posted picture was taken). Even though one driver passed in a no passing zone causing the accident, the anti-I-69 people called for construction to stop. Citing recent wrecks, I-69 foes demand construction be stopped (from Herald Times). You can't read articles directly from the H-T web site without subscribing for $$$, but they do allow anyone to read comments on the story.

Second, there are I-69 comments from an H-T editorial today that are quite lively. Pretty much, half of Monroe County has similar opinions of the activists that the majority of Indiana has about them.

To help everyone understand the attitude of the MPO, they demanded the FHWA and INDOT answer questions published in the H-T.

Finally, Governor Daniels made his plea to the MPO earlier this week: Daniels Pushes For I-69 Support In Bloomington (from Indiana Public Media).

Tomorrow is the long awaited MPO meeting. It will be very interesting to see what happens.
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mukade

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Re: Update on I-69 Extension in Indiana
« Reply #69 on: November 03, 2011, 06:57:56 PM »

With the recent award of a four mile section going east and north from US 231 (INDOT October 26, 2011 Design Build Letting), 72 miles of I-69 are now under construction in southern Indiana. To put that in perspective, that is the same length as I-69 from the Indiana-Michigan line to I-96 in Lansing.

Contract awarded for building Crane-to-Bloomington section of I-69 (from Evansville Courier Press)
« Last Edit: November 03, 2011, 10:29:35 PM by mukade »
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truejd

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Re: Update on I-69 Extension in Indiana
« Reply #70 on: November 07, 2011, 11:33:40 AM »

Yikes....Looks like the fight in Bloomington is not going to be over soon....post about the Friday meeting there.

http://www.courierpress.com/news/2011/nov/04/no-headline---ev_i-69bloomington/
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JREwing78

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Re: Update on I-69 Extension in Indiana
« Reply #71 on: November 07, 2011, 07:20:24 PM »

*sigh* Looks like the Bloomington-Monroe MPO and INDOT are guaranteeing the worst-case scenario - interstate traffic clogging up SR 37 (posted as Temp I-69) for decades.
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vdeane

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Re: Update on I-69 Extension in Indiana
« Reply #72 on: November 08, 2011, 06:33:44 AM »

And that's exactly what Bloomington wants.
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mukade

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Re: Update on I-69 Extension in Indiana
« Reply #73 on: November 08, 2011, 07:08:33 AM »

That certainly is what a large vocal group of people there want. Today is election day so if these same group of rabidly anti-I69 activists get re-elected, we can safely say the majority of Bloomington is against I-69. One thing that makes me wonder if this group is a minority is that the Herald Times article comments about I-69 are invariably rated negatively for anti-I-69 comments and positive for pro-I-69 ones. So among the H-T readers, unscientifically, it seems more favor the road than oppose it.

BTW, one thing that you can say is that the activists are organized. That group of "citizens" that attended the meeting on November 4 did not just happen to attend. See http://www.carri69.org/. AFAIK, there are no organized pro-I-69 groups there.

Hopefully INDOT follows through and pulls all state and federal transportation funding if I-69 is not added to the TIP. A town like Bloomington depends on buses, so that would hurt.
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Re: Update on I-69 Extension in Indiana
« Reply #74 on: November 08, 2011, 10:00:06 AM »

I don't get what the big dispute is about with these people.  I-69 is going to be built up to and connecting to SR 37 regardless.  From that point on the footprint of the interstate is already built on by SR 37.  What exactly are these people trying to stop???  Are a few interchanges going to really destroy the environment within Bloomington?
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