For more than two decades, HEC and others have been warning about the excessively high costs – both financial and environmental – of New Terrain I-69. Now that some construction is underway, INDOT and the highway supporters have been forced to admit the growing devastation left in the wake of this $3.2 billion project.
Just two examples –
INDOT has finally acknowledged that it is legally forced to acquire easements for all the land that will be flooded because of the highway. In Section 2 alone (Oakland City to Washington), INDOT will have to buy flood easements for over 5,850 acres. The environmental impact of this flooding has not been studied and the flood waters could prohibit the productive use of farm land, restrict access to local roads, and jeopardize the safety of local residents.
Just last week, the Washington Times-Herald reported that many Daviess County residents have been complaining about the construction traffic related to I-69. The contractors hired to build I-69 are not using designated roads for their equipment and now many local roads are being destroyed. As a result, the sheriff will be issuing citations to all construction vehicles using the county roads illegally. On top of everything else, can Hoosiers afford to have our law enforcement officers spending their time giving tickets to negligent state contractors?