INDOT has initiated the U.S. 50 North Vernon Bypass – East project to study a proposed extension of the new roadway currently under construction between C.R. 400W and S.R. 3. This extension would run from S.R. 3 on the north side of North Vernon east and south to rejoin existing U.S. 50 east of North Vernon, thus completing a northern bypass of North Vernon.
The U.S. 50 project involves construction of a highway bypass around the city of North Vernon in Jennings County. Construction on the western half of the project, which consists of a new two-lane road from U.S. 50 northeast to SR 3 north of North Vernon, began in March 2012. The approximate length of this roadway is 4.5 miles.
The eastern half of this project – from S.R. 3 southeast to U.S. 50 – is now in the planning stage. INDOT has evaluated a range of alternatives for this section of the bypass and has identified Alternative 6D as the Preferred Alternative . When completed, the project will reduce congestion in and around North Vernon, improve safety, improve accessibility, and meet local and state planning objectives.
Purpose and Need
There are four core problems that the U.S. 50 project will address. They are:
- Congestion. There are high levels of traffic congestion through downtown North Vernon.
- Safety. There is a high crash frequency on U.S. 50 through North Vernon.
- Accessibility. An improved transportation network is required to meet the accessibility demands of new employment, as well as residential and economic development.
- Planning. Improvements of U.S. 50 are necessary to maintain consistency with statewide and regional transportation plans.
The purpose of this project is to resolve the four documented transportation problems in the U.S. 50/North Vernon area. Specifically, the project will:
- Reduce congestion along U.S. 50 and S.R. 3/S.R. 7 through and around North Vernon;
- Provide a safer transportation facility for both truck and passenger vehicles through and around North Vernon;
- Provide an efficient transportation link between the existing and growing industrial area on the north side of North Vernon to U.S. 50; and
- Support State and local transportation planning.
Besides the four primary objectives above, the alternatives will also be judged on how well they meet the following non-transportation goals:
- Minimize impacts to environmental and cultural resources.
- Minimize social and economic impacts due to right-of-way acquisitions and relocations.
- Support local community needs and interests.
- Provide a transportation facility consistent with local development plans.