Interstate 69 interrupts Perry Township

As Perry Township continues to adapt, one change that will affect students and residents is the expansion  of Interstate 69. The interstate will run straight through Perry Township and is partof the interstate highway system that will eventually run from the Mexican border in Texas to the Canadian border in Michigan. 

A meeting held at Perry Meridian High School on Tues., Oct. 24 offered  more detail about what is planned for the future. 

According to the Indianapolis Star, the project was  pushed back for 20 years as the Indiana Department of Transportation, or INDOT, tried to work out a route that worked for everyone involved.

The expansion has already started to affect residents around the area. Businesses, such as Steak N Shake on West Southport Road, have already begun shut down to make way for the new upcoming road. 

Many students will also have to figure out new ways to get to school and to work around the construction.

According to Mallory Duncan, INDOT Media Relations director for East Central Indiana, I-69 will closely follow State Road 37 for right now. As the crew progresses, they are trying to work with local officials, such as superintendents of schools. 

“We’ll include the superintendent and we’ll include people like local first responders,” Duncan says. “Because before we get to the new 69, we have to go through some detours.”

Some of these detours include lane closures that are already happening on SR 37. But according to Duncan, in contract five and part of contract four, there won’t be any full lane closures that haven’t already been seen in Martinsville.

“[State Road] 37 will be open in both directions as we go through this whole process,” Duncan says. “There just might be some local lane restrictions or some local detours.” 

Residents with affected property have already been informed and have had a sit-down meeting with project leaders or with a property acquisition team. 

“They are all aware, and they all know it’s coming, whether we’ve actually given them an appraisal on their home or business that needs to move,” Duncan says . “Were moving through the process, but it’s not affecting our construction schedule.”