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Mid-States Corridor Committee chooses ‘Alternative P’ route

Mid-States Corridor Committee chooses ‘Alternative P’ route
Published: Apr. 15, 2022 at 7:01 PM CDT
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DUBOIS CO., Ind. (WFIE) - The Mid-States Corridor project team has chosen its preferred route, and it means some residents may have to move to make way for the new highway.

The “Alternative P” route would run south from I-69 down to the Rockport area – State Road 66 – as a means of hopefully improving highway connections in southern Indiana.

The project team is looking to have it skirt around Huntingburg and Jasper, avoiding what they call “populated areas.”

Project spokesperson Mindy Peterson says it took a lot of research and time to get to the stage they are at now.

“Really what it comes down to is looking at the three big things: benefits, impacts and costs,” says Peterson.

According to Peterson, Alternative P is the most cost-effective and environmentally conscious route they could have chosen.

She also noted this route would likely have the least amount of displacements, which is the thing that many are worried about.

With acreage, farms and even potentially homes on the line, people like Adam Niehaus say it just doesn’t seem right to have worked this hard only to possibly lose your home.

“I gave almost four years in the Army to try and build my bank account up because it seemed like the best option at the time,” says Niehaus, “I didn’t want to go to college, and it’s just – it’s shocking.”

Niehaus and his wife fully moved into this property only a week ago, and now when they consult the maps online, they say they are directly in the line of fire.

“Not even a week into our residency here, be told, ‘Hey, it’s quite possible that you’re not going to be able to live here anymore,’” says Niehaus, “and that just is frankly unacceptable.”

Peterson says the maps are still in their early stages, and what’s seen now may not be what people get down the road.

“When they see the lines on the map, we right now, in this Tier 1 process, are talking about a 2,000-foot corridor,” says Peterson, “that’s a wide corridor. We are providing the information that we have at this time. So important for people to know, that’s going to shrink down during the Tier 2 studies that will follow.”

Even with the location of the corridor itself not set in stone, homeowners like Niehaus are still feeling the pressure.

Public hearings are scheduled to be held on Tuesday, April 26, at 13598 East West Gate Dr. in Odon, as well as Thursday, April 28, at 951 College Avenue in Jasper.

These public hearings are where the public can comment on the project in front of the team members.

Before the meeting, any citizen who would like to comment should sign up on-site the night of the event.

The Mid-States Corridor Committee has also published the DEIS, or Draft Environmental Impact Statement.

The DEIS can help highlight their “study process, analysis and findings,” according to their website.

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