COLUMN: Corridor to secure economic future of region

Dubois County and our communities of Southwest Indiana have long contributed to the prosperity and progress of our Hoosier State and beyond. For generations our families and communities have experienced a unique quality of life anchored by a strong work ethic of our people. A growing economy which has weathered the tough times and continues to provide good-paying jobs. An excellent education and training system has provided a skilled and talented workforce which produces products of unparalleled quality, shipped to markets worldwide. Our quality of life and the future prosperity for our families and region will continue to be secured so long as we keep our eyes focused on the horizon.

A key element of assuring that future horizon of prosperity and economic growth is the long-discussed Mid-States Corridor transportation project which is now in a public evaluation process led by the Indiana Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration. The Corridor would begin at State Road 66 near the William H. Natcher Bridge, crossing the Ohio River at Rockport, continue through the Huntingburg and Jasper area and extend north to connect to Interstate 69. There are several routes being studied and it is believed a final route will be selected in the fall of 2020.

It is clear this project will strengthen our County’s competitive position as an economic driver and will secure the economic future of our region for another generation. Dubois County is within a day’s drive of half of the US markets and 80% of the total US population. Our annual per capita income at $56,488 ranks third in the State. While the economic impact will vary depending on the chosen route, one study has estimated a potential of significant growth in employment, wages, taxes and housing, with a total GDP output of counties in the target area of approximately $7.7 Billion.

Just as improved roads are important to our economic growth, they will also make travel safer for all of us. Equal importance is the need to improve regional traffic safety and reduce serious crashes, both fatal and those resulting in serious injury, in Southern Indiana.

As members of the Mid-States Corridor Next Level Coalition, a group of citizens, community leaders, elected officials, school officials and business leaders, Dubois Strong endorses the need for this significant transportation connection to all of Indiana and our national and worldwide markets on which we are so dependent for our local economy. The Mid-States Corridor will also connect our historic legacy of prosperity to a future of continued job growth to meet the needs of our families and maintain our quality of life. We encourage you to visit https://midstatescorridor.com/ to view updated information and understand all the facts.

We as a County and Southwestern Indiana as a region have earned a reputation of achievement and prosperity for our communities for 202 years of Indiana's 204 years of existence. Dubois County’s legacy of growth, ingenuity, vision for the future and plain-old Hoosier hard work have always been the foundation of our quality of life.

—Ed Cole
President, Dubois Strong




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