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[INDOT] Tree Clearing for I-69 Section 5 Begins This Week
Start Date: 1/28/2014Start Time: 12:00 AM
End Date: 1/28/2014
Entry Description

Tree Clearing for I-69 Section 5 Begins This Week

Watch for S.R. 37 Lane Closures, Reduced Speed Limits

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) contractors will begin mobilizing along State Road 37 this week, weather permitting, to clear trees in preparation for I-69 Section 5 construction. Last month, INDOT awarded a $2 million contract to Crider & Crider Inc. of Bloomington.

Drivers should watch for short-term lane closures and reduced work zone speed limits along S.R. 37 this winter. Crews will begin work at Beanblossom Creek Overflow, near the partial interchange at Walnut Street, and work south through Bloomington.

Tree removal is the next step in upgrading 21 miles of the existing, four-lane S.R. 37 between Bloomington and Martinsville to interstate standards, which will begin construction later this year. Under agreement with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and other regulatory agencies, INDOT is not cutting trees after March 31 to minimize impacts to the endangered Indiana bat during its roosting season.

Any person or entity offering to cut trees within the restricted time frames is not working for or on behalf of INDOT. INDOT encourages nearby landowners and loggers to follow the tree cutting restriction as well. Timber buyers and agents must be licensed under Indiana law, and must pay landowners for timber harvested. Landowners may verify that a timber buyer or logging company is properly licensed by searching the Indiana Online Licensing website at http://mylicense.in.gov.

In addition to the 4,100 acres preserved for I-69 Section 4, INDOT is purchasing land or preservation easements for 1,100 acres to mitigate the environmental impacts of I-69 Section 5. More than 800 acres of established forest will be preserved in perpetuity and 300 acres of new trees will be planted in areas where additional bat habitat is needed.

The new Interstate 69 between Evansville and Indianapolis is a key component to the future economic vitality of southwestern Indiana, and will connect an entire region with improved access to jobs, education and healthcare. The 142-mile I-69 corridor was divided into six independent sections in the Tier 1 Final Environmental Impact Statement, which was approved with a Record of Decision in March 2004.

The first three sections opened for business in November 2012 – under budget and years ahead of schedule – and save motorists more than 30 minutes travel time in the 67 miles between Evansville and Crane. Construction is underway on all 27 miles of I-69 Section 4 between Crane and Bloomington, which is expected to open to traffic in phases during late 2014 and early 2015. Private sector proposals to design, build, finance, operate and maintain I-69 Section 5 are due in late January.

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  • IN.gov Category:
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    Transportation, Indiana Department of

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