Interstate 69

November 19, 2006

Citizens for Appropriate Rural Roads

Governor Daniels' proposal to build I-69 as a privately operated toll road drew a firestorm of opposition from citizens and legislators throughout central and southwestern Indiana. It also contributed to a punishing loss for Republicans at the polls. Unfortunately, the Governor has not learned from his mistakes. He has thrown up an even more destructive plan for privatizing Indiana's roads and building I-69.

Daniels' proposed Indiana Commerce Connector (ICC) is, in fact, the northern segment of the proposed I-69 extension.

A previous national study recommended the exact corridor that Governor Daniels is calling his ICC as a route for bypassing Indianapolis with I-69, with the segment from Martinsville to I-70 added . The cost given in the study is $1.2 billion. The cost given by Governor Daniels is between $1 to $1.5 billion. This shows clearly that not only is the ICC part of I-69 but also that the cost estimate is nearly 10 years out-of-date.

Getting around Indianapolis has always been a problem for the I-69 proposal. The Indiana Commerce Connector is a ruse to get I-69 around Indy without calling it I-69. The ICC is a major expansion of the I-69 proposal that will require a new study of all the expanded costs and impacts.

October 8, 2006

When Will Claytor started a fine arts class project on I-69 four years ago, he didn't get involved with the issue. He got obsessed with it.

"At first, it kind of fell into my lap," he said. "The route had just been selected, so I chose that as my project. I could have stopped at the end of my class, but I just kept going with it. I've never gotten to a point where I felt like I could put it aside."

His project, now the framework for a documentary, highlighted families who lived on the proposed highway route. Using audio and visuals, he created a slide show displaying the potential losses these people face.

August 27, 2006

Steven Higgs

Add tiny Indian Creek Township in southwestern Monroe County to the list of elected government bodies opposed to Interstate 69.

On Aug. 23, the Township Board unanimously approved a special resolution to that effect. The resolution declared, in part:

  • The Indian Creek Township Board concludes that I-69 Toll Road is inconsistent with and conflicts with our community's vision and quality of life expectations and priorities of our citizens.
  • The Indian Creek Township Board concludes that I-69 Toll Road will have an overall harmful rather than a beneficial economic effect on Indian Creek Township, Monroe County.
July 2, 2006

June 2006 was a watershed month in Bloomington's struggle to stop new-terrain I-69 from destroying our community character forever. But in many ways, very little new actually happened. It was business usual, just on a more ominous scale.

Bolstered by laws written and interpreted by corrupt men and women, Gov. Mitch Daniels, his eyes on a privatized I-69 extension, crushed citizen opposition to his scheme to begin selling Indiana's highway system to global economic interests.

Since the citizens couldn't raise $1.8 billion in 10 days, the Indiana Supreme Court said on June 20, they had no right to legally challenge Daniels' privatization plans.

Bought-and-sold leaders steamrolling citizens is business as usual in Indiana.

June 4, 2006

Since Steve Bonney became the public face on a legal challenge to Gov. Mitch Daniels' Major Moves highway scheme, he has developed an even greater understanding of the frustration and cynicism that average citizens feel toward their government.

Just last week, for example, a judge in South Bend told Bonney that he'd have to come up with $1.9 billion to challenge the constitutionality of Gov. Mitch Daniels' sale of the Indiana Toll Road to a foreign corporation, whose only interest in the state is pocketing hundreds of billions of dollars of Hoosier motorists' money over the next 75 years.

Bonney said St. Joseph Superior Court Judge Michael Scopelitis wouldn't let him and six other Hoosier citizen plaintiffs and the Citizens Action Coalition (CAC) discuss the institutionalized corruption that permeates Indiana government and the role it played in Major Moves.

"They don't want to hear about corruption," the Lafayette resident and Greene County organic farmer said. "They don't want to hear about any of that stuff."

March 26, 2006

The General Assembly's last-second passage of the Major Moves highway bill has been universally acclaimed as an impressive, significant legislative coup for Gov. Mitch Daniels — "an enormous political victory," according to a March 16 Fort Wayne Journal Gazette editorial.

Despite deep-seated skepticism and divisions within his party, Daniels lost only one Republican in the entire House and Senate when the final votes on Major Moves came just moments before the 2006 session closed on March 14.

In exchange for an up-front $3.8 billion check, Major Moves will transfer control of the 157-mile Indiana Toll Road in Northern Indiana to a global consortium for, in the Journal Gazette's words again, "an unfathomable 75 years."

But how history judges Major Moves, and whether its provisions on I-69 will expedite construction of the NAFTA highway or obstruct it even more, will be determined in legislative sessions still to come. It is arguably the most radical political proposal in Indiana in more than a century. And Hoosiers have responded predictably.

March 26, 2006

Okay, I'm going to commit heresy. My liberal friends aren't going to like this one bit, but I'm gonna say it: the toll road deal, where we leased the Indiana Toll Road to a foreign consortium, was a good idea. A really good idea.

And I hope it doesn't end there. I'm not a fan of wanton privatization, far from it, but I am a fan of getting rid of assets that have no future, especially when you can do it at the top of the market — i.e. before the future arrives.

So keep lookin', Governor Daniels, and keep flippin' Indiana roads for Bourbon euros and Aussie dollars. We don't want to hold onto those turkeys, and we can certainly use the cash.

March 12, 2006

News Release
I-69 Citizens Coalition

Governor Daniel's "Major Moves" transportation funding proposal violates the Indiana Constitution, a new legal analysis concludes.

The analysis, by the Indianapolis law firm Mullett, Polk & Associates, concludes that Major Moves violates Article 10 section 2 of the Indiana Constitution, which requires that "the net annual income" from "public works belonging to the State" must be used to pay off the state's "public debt."

January 1, 2006

Gov. Mitch Daniels' plan to fund the I-69 extension through tolls could double the boondoggle's costs to between $3 billion and $4 billion. And the money to pay for it, much of which will go to private corporations, will come straight out of motorists' pockets through thinly a disguised scheme to tax them twice.

So concludes a report from a coalition of citizen groups called Caution — Slippery Road Ahead!: Toll roads and privatization, what could go wrong?

"Private toll roads have proven in many instances to be good for toll operator profits, bad for the taxpayers and the traveling public," concludes the report, issued Nov. 30, 2005, by Citizens for Appropriate Rural Roads, the Hoosier Environmental Council, the Marion County Alliance of Neighborhood Associations, and Count Us!

November 13, 2005


In a dramatic Nov. 9 statement on transportation issues delivered to a group of city and business leaders, Texas Transportation Commissioner Ted Houghton stated: "I-69 is dead in the state of Texas. The road fairy has been shot."

A spokesman for Gov. Rick Perry said it is unlikely that Washington would spend as much as $7 billion in Texas for I-69.

"From our perspective, we agree with the commissioner," Robert Black said. "If we want to make I-69 a reality, then we're going to have to look at a number of other tools."

Black said the possibilities include tolls.

Syndicate content