Northern Interchange Project
The Lebanon Northern Interchange Feasability Study is a study being proposed by the city council and the mayor of Lebanon that would seek ti identiy the best potential options and alternatives for the state to design and build a new northern interchange north of the city along Interstate 65. This interchange would potentially be located to the north of the CR 300 N road corridor, however until the study is complete the exact location and design are yet to be determined.
This interchange is not without it's fair share of controversy. Residents on the north side of town voiced their opinions at a recent city council meeting regarding concerns over the placement of an interchange. The concensus was that there was alot of misinformation that was being disseminated regarding the project and that lead to unrest and angst among local residents concerned about imminent domain issues and potential impacts to property, property values, and aesthetic value of their real estate. There were also many concerns regarding what input the public would be able to have prior to the interchange being built. It was almost as if people thought that the vote was to proceed with the building of the interchange without public input. The mayor and council members took extra time dispel those concerns and to explain that the study is designed to do three things. First it is designed to survey and assess the land and identify the best alternative(s) and location for the interchange and connecting roads. The mayor and council explained that this is not a final planning phase or bid but a first step to identifying what the best options are so that the city can choose the best one. Second, the study is designed to look at potential impacts to the surrounding properties and environment to make sure that the project is built in such a way that it can minimize impact to structures, wetlands, and historic or sacred grounds. Thirdly, the study is designed to allow the public to have input through the process as well since it is a preliminary step, once the study is complete, the public will have the opportunity to review and make public comments.
Just for Recommendation to INDOT
The purpose proposed by the city for wanting to complete the study is to show the state interest in getting the interchange completed. In addition it is to make a recommendation to the state as to the best alternative(s) identified in the study and that hopefully the state would heed the cities study and take the recommended action. That being said, the state may have their own study and have their own plans and take actions on those without city input. So what is the benefit then? Why not just let the state spend the money? Well that is because the state listens to the cities. A traffic study would have signicant weight on the states planning and design.