DUBOIS COUNTY, Ind. (WEHT) A group of Dubois County residents are talking about the potential problems that could arise from the Mid-States Corridor, the proposed highway to connect the Natcher Bridge to I-69.
They met near Huntingburg tonight, less than a month after a series of public information forums.
The group, which included several farmers and others connected to the agriculture industry, say they worry what could happen to their homes or farms. While a preferred route has yet to be decided, those opposing the highway worry about what happens if the project gets close to them.
“Because it affects farmers, it affects people in the country, their land their livelihood,” said Sheila Wendholt, whose family is involved in farming, and opposes the corridor. She worries how it could impact area farms and those who could lose a part of their farms or even their homes. No preferred route has been identified yet
“My son has a farm that, in three years, will be in our family for 100 years and if it goes another route, it will hit very, very close to my house,” she said, talking about possible impacts to farms her family is involved with.
“It would go up the middle of our farm. We’ve got several hundred acres and if it would split our farm, it would be devastating because we couldn’t get from one side to the other,” adds Alan Small, a Dubois County farmer.
During at least one public forum last month, fliers were put on vehicle windshields urging people to oppose the project. Mindy Peterson of Mid-States Corridor says they’re still very early in the process. She says they’ll continue to share studies and that public feedback plays an important role in the process. Some residents signed a petition claiming the corridor will lead to a loss of agricultural income and harm the environment and small community atmosphere.
“I don’t know what could be done as far as Jasper and Huntingburg probably needs a better route around those cities, but I don’t know the answer on how to solve that problem,” Small says.
Peterson also says they’ll still take responses until March 23rd to a screening questionnaire they put out. Attendees at tonight’s meeting say they hope to have the petition turned in by then.
(This story was originally published on March 11, 2020)