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Neighbors voice strong views on new interchange

Neighborhood residents have asked that any future second interchange off Interstate 64 at Corydon be kept well away from S.R. 337 and the Corydon-Ramsey Road to avert added traffic congestion in an otherwise quiet, residential area.
Speaking before the Harrison County Board of Commissioners on Oct. 21, Wylie Zeigler of Corydon said the 337 interchange option should be removed from the long-range transportation plan unveiled at a recent public hearing.
“It would hurt the integrity of the neighborhood,” Zeigler said. “We want it removed before state and federal approval.
“The interchange needs to be located further to the west” of their neighborhood.
Others in the audience also voiced concerns about the proposal, noting that Harrison County Hospital’s plans to locate west of the neighborhood would also increase traffic.
Terry L. Miller, who chairs the three-member board of Harrison County Commissioners, said, “I think that is our preference also. All of the options are just proposals, and 2A and 2B are much-preferred routes, as far as we’re concerned.
“State Road 337 and Gethsemane probably are the two less desirable” interchange options, Miller added.
Three sites are proposed, and S.R. 337 and Gethsemane Road are the least expensive, at $9.5 million and $11.7 million, respectively, according to American Consulting Inc. of Indianapolis.
Alternates 2A and 2B both include an interchange midway between the Gethsemane Road and 337 overpasses, about 2.3 miles west of the 135-I-64 interchange. This would require a new connector road with S.R. 62 and a new bridge over I-64 connecting with S.R. 337.
Both alternates are more expensive, at $20.9 million and $24.2 million. (If approved, the federal highway department will pay 80 percent of the costs and the state would pay the remaining 20 percent.)
Alternate 2A would involve construction of a road from S.R. 62 north to I-64. It would be about 2.15 miles northwest of the S.R. 62 intersection with S.R. 135.
Alternate 2B would be at the same location but would include additional work on the north side of I-64 to S.R. 337. About six-tenths of a mile of new pavement would be required to realign portions of Quarry Road and S.R. 337.
“The main difference is, Alternate 2B would involve straightening a 90-degree curve on S.R. 337 north of I-64,” said county engineer Darin Duncan.
Regardless of the site, proposals for the second interchange are “at the very, very infant stages of planning to ensure smart growth,” said Commissioner J.R. Eckart.
Miller said no action is expected by the state for at least five years and “probably 20.”
In the meantime, Eckart said it would be wise to include the S.R. 337 option and the objections to show the site had been considered and why it had been rejected so the state wouldn’t decide on its own that the site is the most desirable.
He said residents should note their objections and preferences on a questionnaire concerning the issue. It’s available at the engineer’s office in the courthouse.
Commissioner James Goldman said the commissioners believe an I-64 interchange west of S.R. 135 would relieve some of the traffic on S.R. 337 as well as 135.
“A lot of traffic off the interchange will go through Quarry Road, especially heavy truck traffic,” Goldman said. “Overall, it will diminish the amount of traffic at 135 and Landmark Avenue.”