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State-driven choice better than no road

My Opinion
Ross Schulz, Staff Writer

The Harrison County Board of Commissioners made the right move by going ahead with attempts to secure funds for the Lanesville Connector Road project, even if it is not the preferred route.
The board could have refused to move forward in hopes of someday changing the state’s (Indiana Dept. of Transportation and Dept. of Natural Resources) mind about alternate three, but who knows if or when that could ever be accomplished.
With each passing year, the price of asphalt and other items associated with the project rises considerably. Also, the sooner the better because the interchange area, with an approaching sewer system and construction on the Areva pharmaceutical plant, is finally gaining some steam after decades of dormancy. To continue that momentum, the board, even if a federal grant isn’t secured, should move forward with the creation of the road.
The proposed road would connect S.R. 64 and the Lanesville Interstate 64 interchange area.
The chosen route out of five proposals from the interchange area north to S.R. 64 is alternate four; it is the route approved by INDOT. It follows Old Lanesville Road from the interchange area north to George’s Hill Road then heads west toward Felton Road, crosses the Norfolk Southern Railroad before heading north again to S.R. 64 (east of Gun Club Road), crossing Indian Creek along the way.
The original desired route by county officials (alternate three) is a little farther east and less expensive by more than $3 million, but it was not accepted by INDOT. From what local officials gathered, it was not ‘ and will not be ‘ accepted because it would go through a small forested area and disturb wildlife. Seriously. Not to mention some of the land needed for the chosen route, alternate four cuts directly through the middle of prime farm land. With the $3 million it would save to go with route three, the county could plant all kinds of trees for the displaced squirrels.
Regardless of the absurdity of not being about to go the proper route, the bottom line remains that the road needs to be built. It will allow those in the northern part of the county to commute much easier to the Lanesville interchange area and also to downtown Corydon, depending on where the person lives. Plus, the congestion of the Edwardsville interchange area will be relieved significantly with the connector road.
Alternate four is better than no road at all.