Public meetings to address Mid-States Corridor

By ALLEN LAMAN
alaman@dcherald.com

JASPER — If you want to learn more about the Mid-States Corridor project or weigh in on the long-discussed roadway, you will soon have a few chances to do so.

Three open-house-style meetings for community members will take place this week.

The first will happen from 5:30 to 7 p.m. tonight in the Washington High School auditorium; the second is set for 5:30 to 7 p.m. Tuesday in the cafeteria at Springs Valley High School; and the last will be from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Thursday at Jasper High School cafeteria.

“For people who don’t know what the Mid-States Corridor project is yet, this is really gonna be an opportunity for them to find out more,” said Mindy Peterson, who is a spokesperson for the project. “What is it when we talk about the Mid-States Corridor project? What is some of the work underway, and what are some of the next steps on the horizon?”

Backed by $7 million in private donations and local government funding, the Indiana Department of Transportation and the Mid-States Corridor Regional Development Authority are conducting an ongoing Tier 1 environmental impact study that will determine the exact route the roadway will follow.

The study is required by the National Environmental Policy Act for major construction projects that will include federal funding, and it will assess the benefits, impacts and cost of the project.

It will examine the concept of constructing an improved highway connection, beginning at the Ohio River near Rockport, continuing through Spencer and Dubois counties, and extending north to connect to Interstate 69. It is expected to be finalized in the summer of 2021.

This week’s corridor meetings will include a presentation detailing a project overview before shifting to an open-house format. Peterson said attendees can drop by any time in the time window of each event.

“We will have a number of stations with project team leaders, and they (attendees) can have a chance to have one-on-one conversations,” Peterson said. “Check out some maps, that sort of thing. Good conversations and hopefully a good exchange of information.”

Public feedback is a big part of the project’s process, she explained. While the planning and research phase is lengthy, Peterson encouraged readers to get involved and share their thoughts with the project team.

“It’s very important if they are interested in the Mid-States Corridor project, or if they want to have their say, absolutely join us,” she said. “This is the time to have your voice heard and to be part of this process.”

For those who can’t make it, project materials will be available at midstatescorridor.com, and the group can also be contacted through that website.

More public meetings will be held in the future, Peterson said.

“Meeting in a box” kits that include meeting materials, maps and comment forms will be available in public libraries throughout the study area in the near future.

Public Meetings

5:30 to 7 p.m. today at Washington High School’s auditorium
608 E. Walnut St., Washington
Enter through Gate 4 off Seventh St.

5:30 to 7 p.m. Tuesday at Springs Valley High School’s cafeteria
326 S. Larry Bird Blvd., French Lick

5:30 to 7 p.m. Thursday at Jasper High School’s cafeteria
1600 St. Charles St., Jasper




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