List of Alignments Narrowed for U.S. 50 North Vernon Bypass
Three alignments will be studied in detail; Environmental surveys begin next week
NORTH VERNON, Ind. - The Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) has identified three alternatives for the eastern section of the U.S. 50 Bypass that will be studied in detail and refined over the next two months. The three alternatives, shown to the public at the Sept. 6 open house, to be carried forward are: Alternative 4B, 6D, and 6F/E (a blending of Alternatives E and F).
The decision-making process incorporated environmental and engineering data as well as input from the public and regulatory agencies. The outreach effort has included:
- Community Advisory Committee Meeting (Aug. 21)
- Public Open House (Sept. 6)
- Numerous meetings with local stakeholders, including elected officials, North Vernon Airport, St. Anne’s Golf Course, Jennings County Economic Development Commission and Deer Creek Campground.
- Coordination with federal and state agencies to ensure compliance with environmental regulations.
- Letters and email correspondence with community members.
“The team has appreciated the input and support it has received from the community and its leaders,” said Jim Earl, INDOT’s project manager. “We’ve reached out to a lot of people and the input we’ve received has helped the team ensure the project meets the community’s goals.”
The three alternatives carried forward follow two different corridors.
- Alternative 4B: This alternative continues east from SR 3, where construction ends for the western section of the bypass. After crossing CR 20 W, it turns north to follow CR 350 N between the golf course and the state forest. The road continues across the Muscatatuck River and then begins heading south paralleling CR 175 E. The road bridges over the CSX rail line near Rose Acre Farms and then bends to the east to rejoin the existing U.S. 50.
- Alternative 6D: This alternative also continues east from SR 3 but turns south paralleling CR 20 W. Near the quarry the road turns to the southeast to cross over the river and the railroad, rejoining existing U.S. 50 near Deer Creek Road.
- Alternative 6F/E: The first section of this alternative would mirror Alternative 6D, but would turn due east before it reaches the quarry and then turn southeast to cross the river and the railroad at their closest point with a single bridge, before rejoining existing U.S. 50 near Deer Creek Road.
The alternatives selected were those that best balanced transportation and community needs with minimizing social, economic, and environmental impacts. Each of these alternatives would create a safe, efficient roadway that would address the project goals of improving traffic flow and safety for U.S. 50 and support long-range county and state goals for the corridor. The team considered the potential for impacts to resources such as wetlands, streams, forest habitat, historic architecture and community facilities, as well as engineering challenges that result from the varied terrain in the corridor.
Now that the list of alternatives has been narrowed, the team will begin detailed environmental and engineering analyses. State law allows project staff to enter private property to conduct surveys for wetlands, streams, and archaeological resources. Each property owner has previously been sent information regarding this work and the potential need to enter their property. Surveys will begin next week and will continue for several weeks, depending on weather and other factors. If property owners have any questions about this work, they are asked to contact Dan Prevost at 317-616-1017 or INDOT’s Seymour District at 877-305-7611.
The purpose of the U.S. 50 Bypass is to improve traffic operation in and around North Vernon and increase accessibility to existing and potential growth areas. The project proposes a new limited-access, two-lane roadway that would bypass downtown North Vernon to the north. The western section of the U.S. 50 Bypass between C.R. 400 W and S.R. 3 is scheduled to open in December 2013. Construction on the eastern section is scheduled to begin in early 2014 with the completed bypass opening to traffic by the end of 2015.
A graphic showing the three alternatives along with other information has been posted to the project’s website: http://US50NorthVernon.indot.in.gov. The public can also receive updates via INDOT’s social media sites: www.facebook.com/INDOTSoutheast and http://twitter.com/INDOTSoutheast.