Economic development group announces support of Midstate Corridor

Sourced from Dubois County Free Press

Radius Indiana announced today its support for the Midstate Corridor, which is planned as an interstate-level route connecting U.S. Highway 231 in southern Dubois County to a point along I-69 in the north.

Radius Indiana is a regional economic development partnership representing eight counties in Southern Indiana: Crawford, Daviess, Dubois, Greene, Lawrence, Martin, Orange, and Washington.

Also known as the I-67 Corridor, the proposed highway would increase connectivity in the eight-county Radius region, create opportunities for economic development, and add valuable new infrastructure to the region’s list of economic assets.

“A new Midstate Corridor would provide a powerful economic engine for rural southwest central Indiana. Our region would attract more businesses and existing companies would expand. We could expand the workforce due to easier commutes, and bring more tourists to our world-class attractions,” said Former Indiana Lt. Gov. and Chair of the Radius Indiana Board of Directors Becky Skillman.

The regional initiative led by OFS Brands President and CEO Hank Menke has been working to set up the groundwork for the connection since 2012; Menke leads the I-67 Development Corporation. The group is now spearheading growth of a Regional Development Authority in order move the project up on the priority list with the Indiana Department of Transportation.

The State Legislature passed a bill this year that allows municipalities participating in a regional development authority to create a fund specifically for regional infrastructure projects – such as the Midstate Corridor. The legislation also permits RDAs to apply for federal FASTLANE grants from the U.S. Department of Transportation, which fund road and bridge projects.

“We have taken another important step in the recent formation of the Midstate Corridor Regional Development Authority, which will allow local investment to partner with INDOT to drive the necessary planning and construction of this important four-lane limited access highway through Dubois and other area counties to eventually connect to I-69,” said Menke.

While no final route has been established, the corridor was named a Tier 2 project by the state’s Blue Ribbon Commission in 2014, a committee that determined which transportation projects needed to be done and when they should be completed. Tier 2 projects are targeted for completion in six to eight years.

Once INDOT green lights the project, they will determine the route’s final path through Dubois County.

“We applaud the work of the I-67 group and its tireless efforts for the Midstate Corridor. We will continue to monitor the project’s progress and its impact on our region as proposed routes are studied. Finally, we look forward to being partners with others in the region to help improve the prospects for action on this highway,” said Radius Indiana President and CEO Jeff Quyle, who will join the private sector I-67 Development Corporation Advisory Board.