Public comments about a proposed tolled bypass around
Indianapolis will be accepted at a series of upcoming field hearings in
The Indiana House Roads and Transportation Committee has
scheduled five public hearings in March on the proposed Indiana Commerce
Connector, a crescent-shaped bypass around eastern Indianapolis that would link
to interstates in six counties.
Gov. Mitch Daniels has proposed the tolled bypass of
Indianapolis as a trade-off for keeping the entire length of a proposed
extension of Interstate 69 toll-free from Indianapolis to Evansville, IN.
The Indiana state Senate approved a bill in February - SB1 -
but the bill's future is not known in the Democrat-controlled House.
The first hearing on the 75-mile Indiana Commerce Connector
proposal is 6 p.m. Thursday, March 15, at Pendleton Heights High School at 1
Arabian Drive in Pendleton, IN.
Other hearings, all starting at 6 p.m. local time, are:
20 at the Morgan County Fairgrounds Community Building, 1749 Hospital
Drive, Martinsville, IN.
22 at Indiana Downs, 4200 N. Michigan Road, Shelbyville, IN.
26 at Franklin College in Franklin, IN, in a building to be named.
28 at Greenfield-Central High School, 810 N. Broadway, Greenfield, IN.
Daniels proposed the bypass to be "financed, designed, built
and maintained with private funds, not tax dollars, and operated under contract
as a toll road," according to an Indiana Department of Transportation fact
The proposed I-69 extension to Evansville is being pursued
as a privatized highway, and includes a provision for tolls along some
The bill passed by the Senate would transfer those plans for
privatization to the Indiana Commerce Connector and keep the I-69 extension
toll free, INDOT officials stated.
With the bypass proposed to assume the tolls and bring in an
up-front fee from private investors, the future extension of I-69 extension
would then be built as a public asset including $700 million from Daniels'
Major Moves transportation plan.
It was that same Major Moves plan that saw private investors
lease the 157-mile Indiana Toll Road for $3.85 billion for the next 75 years.