Using State Road 37 between Martinsville and Indianapolis to build I-69 is the “logical choice,” according to transportation officials.
“This route offers the strongest opportunities for economic growth, most significant safety improvements, and greatest reduction in congestion of all route alternatives evaluated,” Brandye Hendrickson, the Indiana Department of Transportation commissioner, said in a statement. “After years of study and input from thousands of Hoosiers, INDOT has determined that the State Road 37 option produces the best return on investment for Indiana taxpayers.”
This decision comes after public meetings in the fall and spring of 2015 and analysis of five preliminary routes. The analysis found that State Road 37:
- Avoids an estimated 1,379 crashes each year
- Reduces travel times from Martinsville to downtown Indianapolis by 11 minutes
- Reduces travel times from Martinsville to I-69 in northeast Indianapolis by 13 minutes
- Increases wages in the four-county study area by a total of $1.7 billion over 20 years
- Increases gross domestic product in the four-county study area by $2.4 billion over 20 years
INDOT plans to make a final recommendation for public input in 2017 about locations for highway lanes, exits and access roads.
The next public meetings will be on Monday, April 4, at Perry Meridian High School and Tuesday, April 5, at Martinsville High School to collect additional public input on the route recommendation.
Doors for both meetings will open at 6 p.m. with an open house session in the school gymnasium. Attendees may ask questions and view displays regarding the route recommendation and potential locations of exits and access roads. Each open house will be followed with a formal presentation and public-comment session in the school auditorium at 7 p.m.