Why not use U.S. 231 instead of 'corridor'?

To the editor:

Two recent articles in The Herald are disturbing.

Regarding the article on the proposed I-67 (March 12), now named the Midstate Corridor, some of the statements are troubling, some are unrealistic and some almost unbelievable. To Mr. Hank Menke, being a prominent citizen in Dubois County and, I assume, the entire state, I certainly mean no disrespect.

However, we have gone from an interstate to a corridor. When money was solicited from the Dubois County Council for a road study, we learned the proposed route would be to the east of Huntingburg and Jasper. Now, according to the article, the proposed route has not been determined. Years ago, it was decided that the preferred route was to the east. Will more money be solicited for another study? This is hard-earned taxpayer money we are giving away.

To avoid U.S. 231, Mr. Menke says he often sends his trucks east on I-64 to connect to I-65 in order to go north to Indianapolis at an additional annual cost of approximately $250,000. This seems unrealistic at best. I have spoken with a truck driver from a large Jasper corporation concerning the avoidance of U.S. 231 when traveling north. He said this was not true for his company.

Soon, traffic will need only to travel to near Crane to connect to I-69. The cost to put the present U.S. 231 in excellent condition between Dubois County and Crane would surely be a fraction of the cost to build the new proposed corridor.

The article also stated that the proposed road would prevent brain drain. Realistically, the way to prevent brain drain is to pay competitive wages. Money is the magnet that draws our bright young people away from Dubois County.

Another article addressed the burden the loss of our county engineer is putting on the county’s highway supervisor. Our county council provided $25,000 for the road study, but we could not afford to pay our fine engineer a competitive salary. (Brain drain.) I applaud council members Mark Brescher and Martha Wehr for voting against the gift.

—Bill Small

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