Alternative P is Preferred Alternative for improved highway connection
The Mid-States Corridor Project Team has identified Alternative P as the preferred route for the improved highway connection in southern Indiana. The Tier 1 Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) was released today, marking a significant project milestone.
Alternative P improvements extend 54 miles from I-64/US 231 to I-69 at the existing US 231 interchange. Alternative P travels east of Huntingburg and Jasper, avoiding developed areas in those cities. It generally runs parallel to and west of US 231 in Martin and Daviess counties. It includes a western bypass of Loogootee before it avoids West Boggs Lake to the east and ends at the existing I-69 interchange at US 231. A total of nine local improvements along existing US 231 are included with the alternative.
Among the alternatives adequately addressing the Purpose and Need of the project (Alternatives P, M and O), Alternative P includes the lowest impacts to environmental resources and has the lowest cost. It also has a comparably low level of impacts to several key resources including the smallest impacts to wetlands and no impacts to karst features.
The purpose of the Mid-States Corridor project is to provide an improved transportation link between the US 231/SR 66 intersection and I-69. It improves business and regional connectivity in Dubois County and southern Indiana and improves highway connections to existing major multi-modal locations from southern Indiana.
The DEIS is a detailed document that summarizes the Mid-States Corridor project’s study process, analysis and findings. The DEIS assesses the benefits, impacts and costs of the alternatives. It includes the basis for the selection of the preferred alternative and key commitments associated with the project.
Dozens of potential Preliminary Alternatives were initially considered with 28 Preliminary Alternatives and 10 Routes screened. Five routes were carried forward for detailed study: Alternatives B, C, M, O and P.
Several adjustments were made during the study including removing freeway alternatives from consideration, deferring facility-type decisions to Tier 2, considering combinations of alignments and facility types and considering upgrades to existing state facilities, like US 231.
The DEIS is posted on the project website at www.MidStatesCorridor.com/DEIS. Hard copies are also available for review at several area locations including the Mid-States Project Office, INDOT offices in Vincennes and Indianapolis and 17 area libraries. A complete list of locations can be found on the project website.
DEIS Comment Period
The DEIS comment period runs through May 31, 2022. Comments can be made in person at one of two public hearings, through a comment form at the Project Office, by mail, by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or directly through the project website.
All comment channels receive equal consideration. The Project Team will review all comments and responses to comments will be included in the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS).
Public hearings are being held near Crane and in Jasper, and each will include a public comment period:
Tuesday, April 26 Thursday, April 28
WestGate Academy (Crane) Jasper Arts Center
13598 East WestGate Drive 951 College Avenue
Odon, IN Jasper, IN
The hearings are 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. with a presentation at 6 p.m. A public comment period will follow the presentation. Comments will be limited to two minutes per person and speakers will need to sign up on the night of the hearing prior to the comment period.
The Tier 1 Preferred Alternative is a corridor which generally is 2,000 feet wide. Right of way has not been determined. Final alignments are anticipated to be 200 to 500 feet wide. These will not be determined until Tier 2 studies. A timetable for Tier 2 studies is still being determined, but each is expected to take two to three years to complete.
The Project Team will consider all comments from the public and agencies. Refinements may be made to the Preferred Alternative as the team prepares the Tier 1 FEIS. A combined FEIS and Record of Decision is expected from the Federal Highway Administration in early 2023. The Record of Decision signifies the end of the Tier 1 study.