Citizens need to show support for I-67

To the editor:

In the next three to four months, an important point in time will occur for Dubois County’s potential economic and individual growth. The Indiana Department of Transportation will evaluate projects to improve Indiana’s transportation network and that includes the potential Interstate 67 that would run through Dubois County. The I-67 project is within the top 10 projects that INDOT has identified as “high priority” for the state, but now we need to get involved to make it a reality.

We are suffering the same “brain drain” all rural counties across the United States are experiencing. The 2010 census shows American urban areas are growing while rural America is shrinking. One of the challenges of low unemployment in places like Dubois County is filling jobs. Kids go to college and don’t return home, causing employers to struggle to find people to fill positions. This forces companies to reach out throughout the Midwest to find qualified people willing to move to southern Indiana.

This is why I am arguing for the interstate. I-67 would provide the direct north-south counterpart to the east-west I-64, allowing businesses to locate here and have access to a fantastic transportation network. I-67 would give traffic another route to Nashville that avoids the traffic on the maxed-out Interstate 65 between Indianapolis and Louisville. That would bring new revenue and job opportunities to our area that should bring our kids back in larger numbers.

We need to contact our state representatives, state senators, lieutenant governor and governor over the next few weeks so they can communicate this to INDOT. You must make sure INDOT knows you want new and different job opportunities, and that you want our area to grow so we become a viable alternative to the big cities for companies and our kids. We must realize that to stay competitive, we must rise above the rest and fulfill the identified requirements of the next generation as an area willing to provide the infrastructure a modern society can deliver while retaining our wonderful rural feeling. I-67 would achieve a major piece of this objective.

—Adrian Engelberth

More on