The local economic development group Dubois Strong has announced the commitment of $10,000 to the Interstate 67 Development Corporation in support of the ongoing effort to establish an Interstate highway corridor through south-central Indiana.
The decision to support the initiative comes after the publication of a feasibility study in 2012 and a recent trip by local officials and business leaders to Washington, D.C., aimed at raising awareness within Congress of the need for an improved highway corridor.
The proposed I-67 would upgrade part of U.S. 231 to interstate quality and a new 38 mile section of road would be constructed east of the current highway to connect to I-69 in Washington. The road would run on to Owensboro before continuing on to I-65 at Bowling Green. Ultimately, the corridor could extend from Nashville, Tennessee, to Grand Rapids, Michigan.
One important objective for the coalition, led by OFS Brands CEO Hank Menke, is to secure a place on INDOT’s list of High-Priority Corridors. The list is now being studied, and at the end of this year, a government-appointed blue ribbon commission will meet to prioritize each of the 19 projects. Those projects in Tier 1 will be recommended for completion within five years. Those in Tier 2 should be completed in six to eight years and Tier 3 projects should be finished in 15 to 20 years.
Other goals for 2013 include continued grassroots outreach to local governments along the proposed corridor as well as exploration of a multi-jurisdictional port authority, which would bring regional governments together and provide a vehicle to cooperatively drive development to the proposed corridor.