The data paints a different picture of corridor's effects

To the editor:

As I read the article in the 05/06/2020 edition of The Herald by Dubois Strong president Ed Cole I was stunned. The article voiced strong support for the Mid-States Corridor and its importance to the county’s future prosperity and our needs to maintain our quality of life. The data from the corridor website paints a different picture.

Part of the mission statement of Dubois Strong is Dubois County’s “economic development source for innovative entrepreneurs and thriving businesses.” This roadway will destroy thousands of acres of farmland, forests and wetlands. Additionally, depending on the route chosen, up to 133 commercial/ industrial businesses will be negatively impacted. Many countless farms, which are also thriving businesses, will be severely damaged, or irreversibly destroyed. Up to 366 residential properties could be eliminated.

Perhaps their quality of life, and the hundreds of families, farmers, and workers whose livelihoods are affected, don’t really matter.

As for safety and the reduction of serious crashes, again the data paints a different picture. The BEST improvement shows a reduction from 63.2 per 100 million vehicle miles travelled (VMT) to 61.6 per 100 million VMT, depending on the route chosen. Less than 3%.

Lost in this conversation that I haven’t seen discussed involves local traffic. The proposed routes pass a couple of miles, or more, east or west of Huntingburg and Jasper. Each day, hundreds of workers will still have to cross through town for work, or to access the road, if they choose to use it at all. Those access points won’t be at every street or county road. Trucks will still have to pass through downtown areas to deliver products to facilities on the opposite side of town. What steps are proposed to mitigate the bottlenecks and traffic flow problems that won’t go away with this road? I think many supporters feel this road will alleviate the congestion problem. They are in for a rude surprise.

These basic issues need to be addressed and a viable game plan formulated before endorsing the destruction of our resources. Billions will be spent. This Corridor is unacceptable.

—Dennis Wickman

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