Mayors: Wait and consider all info from corridor study

By CANDY NEAL
cneal@dcherald.com

Huntingburg Mayor Denny Spinner and Jasper Mayor Dean Vonderheide are looking forward to getting the results of the study on the proposed Mid-States Corridor.

People have been asking them if they have a stance on whether or not the road should be constructed.

“We’ve been getting a lot of questions about where we stand on this,” Spinner said. “That’s why we sent the letter.”

The joint letter Spinner and Vonderheide released Wednesday states that they are waiting until the study is completed before determining if the road would be an asset to their communities.
“I think it’s a good investment to do the study,” Spinner said.

Vonderheide was unavailable for comment, his office said Wednesday.

The Mid-States Corridor is a proposed, four-lane, limited-access highway that would run north from Owensboro, Kentucky, and through Dubois County to connect to I-69. The Lochmueller Group has been studying route options and different road types. They have been narrowed down to five route options: two running west of U.S. 231, one running somewhat parallel to the state road in Dubois County, and two running east of the road. Those options were shown at a series of community meetings in February.

The options will be narrowed down to one proposed option this fall, which will be studied to determine a more specific single route, possibly by next summer.

“To understand the opportunities for our county and region and the impact the Mid-States Corridor could have on our region for generations to come, it is critical that we all get connected with the facts and have appropriate patience with the thorough and deliberate study process currently being conducted by the Mid-States Corridor project team,” the mayors state in the letter. “Any project that has the potential to maintain and grow the competitive advantage of our strong economic base, including manufacturing, retail and agriculture, and provide better access, lower costs and greater speed to national and world markets deserves a serious, thorough and complete study before our communities, region and state decide the most feasible next step.”

There are people who have voiced support for the potential road. And there have been many citizens who have voiced opposition and expressed concerns about losing their land and homes.

Spinner and Vonderheide are hoping that the people will be patient and allow the study to be completed.

“We owe it to our communities to consider all the facts and information regarding the Mid-States Corridor study and all it might mean for our future,” they state in the letter. “That is why we stand together in support of a thorough and deliberate study of all the potential benefits and impacts of the Mid-States Corridor.”

Comments and questions about the study can be directed to the Mid-States Corridor Project Office. The project’s website is https://midstatescorridor.com and the office phone number is 812-482-3116. People can also send a letter to the Mid-States Corridor Project Office at Vincennes University Jasper Administration Building, Room 216, 850 College Ave., Jasper, Ind. 47546, or by email at info@midstatescorridor.com. Because of COVID-19, the office is temporarily closed.



Here's the letter in its entirety:


As your local elected officials, we strive each day to make our citizens proud of the communities in which they live, work and raise their families.

Both of our cities have their place in Indiana’s history — Huntingburg with its historic downtown and League Stadium, and Jasper as the wood capital of the world. In order to broaden our economies, we have continued diversification of local industries, becoming a regional manufacturing center and headquarters for several public and private, domestic and multi-national companies. These employers have remained the heartbeat of our local and regional economies as they provide the jobs and tax revenue which fund, create and maintain our excellent schools, quality healthcare and medical treatment facilities, and enriching cultural and accessible recreational opportunities. Each of these contribute to our unique quality of life we all enjoy in Dubois and surrounding counties.

Currently, the Indiana Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration are conducting a study of the potential Mid-States Corridor project. The study will explore the highway safety, road congestion, economic development impact, environmental issues, and the costs and benefits that such a major project would entail. To understand the opportunities for our county and region and the impact the Mid-States Corridor could have on our region for generations to come, it is critical that we all get connected with the facts and have appropriate patience with the thorough and deliberate study process currently being conducted by the Mid-States Corridor project team. Any project that has the potential to maintain and grow the competitive advantage of our strong economic base, including manufacturing, retail and agriculture, and provide better access, lower costs and greater speed to national and world markets deserves a serious, thorough and complete study before our communities, region and state decide the most feasible next step.

Our goal as community leaders and citizens is to make certain that each of our residents have a safer, healthier and more prosperous quality of life today and for generations to come. We owe it to our communities to consider all the facts and information regarding the Mid-States Corridor study and all it might mean for our future. It has been said: " You can't do worse by knowing more." That is why we stand together in support of a thorough and deliberate study of all the potential benefits and impacts of the Mid-States Corridor. We look forward to reviewing the results of the study and working together to maintain a strong Dubois County.


Denny Spinner - Huntingburg Mayor
Dean Vonderheide - Jasper Mayor




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