Prof. I.V. Tech
18 October 2011
Indiana’s I-69 Project: Good or Bad for Hoosiers?
Fort Wayne’s Journal Gazette recently featured an editorial by Jesse Kharbanda titled “Time to change course on extension of I-69.” The article discussed the upcoming highway extension project of I-69. The project’s goal is to create a brand new extension of I-69 which will run from Evansville to Indianapolis and will cost $3 billion (Kharbanda para. 1). Although I have lived in Indiana all my life, I was not even aware of this project or the controversy surrounding it. I decided to do some research to find out if I agree with Kharbanda or not. After reviewing articles for and against the project, I found that I do agree with Kharbanda that the project has more negatives than positives.
Kharbanda’s article argues against the extension project, stating that it is a “wasteful project” (Kharbanda para. 1). His argument against the project revolves around funding because he feels the new highway is wasting money that could be used to fix other crumbling infrastructure in Indiana. According to Kharbanda, the Hoosier Environmental Council “concludes that over the next two years, Indiana will dedicate 23 percent of its available funding for highway construction, maintenance and repair to the new-terrain I-69 project. In 2013 alone, 30 percent will be devoted to this single project” (Kharbanda para. 2). This amount does not include the final portion of the extension which will link Bloomington to the highway and will cost a “projected $1.2 billion” (Kharbanda para. 3).
Kharbanda continues on to mention that there is a cheaper option to the new construction highway, and that the remaining money could be used to fix other infrastructure in Indiana. He suggests “extending I-69 to Evansville” by converting “the U.S. 41/I-70 route to I-69,” and he adds that “this alternative is about $1 billion cheaper” (Kharbanda para. 9). Those who oppose this alternative...