I-69 Accountability Project, CARR
Editor's note: The MPO postponed action on this matter until its next meeting on Nov. 4, 2011.
Earlier this year, members of the Bloomington Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) took an action long-awaited by many residents of Monroe County and southwestern Indiana. The MPO members said “no” to a NAFTA Superhighway project that has produced numerous environmental violations that are currently in federal court. They also said “no” to a multi-billion dollar I-69 project that has already taken away funds from much-needed projects to address our crumbling infrastructure throughout the state. And if new terrain I-69 moves ahead as planned, it will only accelerate the unacceptable deterioration of Indiana’s transportation infrastructure.
On Friday, Sept. 9, residents of Monroe County and all of the neighboring counties will encourage the Bloomington MPO to continue to hold firm in the decision made earlier this year.
"I can’t see what it is about 'no' that INDOT does not understand." - Sam Allison, Monroe County Council, District 4According to the 2010 Federal Highway Administration's National Bridge Inventory, 22 percent of all Indiana bridges are structurally deficient (SD) or functionally obsolete (FO). Over 44 percent of the bridges in Greene County are SD or FO. In Clay Co., more than 50 percent of the bridges are SD or FO. In 2007, the Minneapolis Interstate-35W bridge collapsed, killing 13 people and injuring 145. That bridge was also rated structurally deficient.
The Hoosier Environmental Council reports that major projects on federal and state roads, such as the I-64 bridge at the Wabash River, have been cut back or eliminated completely due to “budget cuts.” A $30 million Evansville project to address the intersection of Highway 41 and the Lloyd Expressway was cut by nearly 50 percent earlier this year, according to the Evansville Courier-Press. Meanwhile, INDOT moves full steam ahead on the billions to build new terrain I-69.
“INDOT bureaucrats plan to build a new sub-standard interstate, while leaving our bridges in dangerous disrepair. Is this good government stewardship of our scarce transportation funds?” asks Greg Knott of Bloomington.
“I can’t see what it is about "no" that INDOT does not understand. I invite the citizens to attend the meeting and tell INDOT, once again, and hopefully for the last time, ‘no’ to I-69,” stated Sam Allison, of the Monroe County Council, District 4.
What: Meeting of the Bloomington Metropolitan Planning Organization
When: Friday, September 9, 2011, 1:30 p.m.
Where: Bloomington City Hall, 401 N. Morton Street
Mary Ann Williams: I-69 Accountability Project, Inc. 812-323-0959.
Thomas Tokarski: Citizens for Appropriate Rural Roads, Inc. 812-825-9555.