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The Journal Gazette

Friday, April 28, 2017 2:38 pm

Verbatim: Public hearing on I-469 exit changes

The Journal Gazette

The Indiana Department of Transportation issued this news release today:

The Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) in conjunction with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), intend to proceed with a proposed interchange modification project at I-469 and U.S. 24 near the city of New Haven, Allen County, Indiana.

INDOT will host a public hearing to present proposed plans and to solicit public input on Wednesday, May 10, 2017, at 6:00 p.m. (local time), New Haven High School Auditeria, 1300 Green Street, New Haven, Indiana 46774.

The public hearing will offer all interested persons an opportunity to comment on the current design plans for the proposed interchange modification. The doors will open to the public at 5:30 p.m. (local time) as project displays and materials will be available for viewing and project officials will be available to answer questions prior to the start of the hearing.

The U.S. 24 New Haven, Indiana to Defiance, Ohio Corridor Project (Fort to Port) Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) and Record of Decision (ROD) were approved by FHWA on October 26, 2005 and December 9, 2005, respectively. In 2002, during the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process for the Fort to Port Project, INDOT recommended the existing I-469 and U.S. 24 interchange should be upgraded to a full and free flowing interchange. Nineteen conceptual alternatives were developed and evaluated for this interchange. Through a screening process and agency coordination, three feasible interchange configurations were identified. Environmental analyses conducted on those three feasible alternatives included noise studies, as well as ecological, land use, and community impacts. A modified version of one of these alternatives was selected as the preferred alternative. These refinements would meet the purpose and need of the project while making the alternative more cost effective. The result of this effort identified Alternative 4a as the preferred alternative for the proposed construction.

Alternative 4a would utilize the existing loop ramps in the northeast and southeast quadrants of I-469 and U.S. 24. The U.S. 24 westbound to I-469 southbound movement would be accommodated by crossing U.S. 24 and I-469 with two structures. I-469 northbound to eastbound U.S. 24 ramp would stay west of the electric substation in the southeast quadrant of the I-469 and U.S. 24 interchange, avoiding any effect to the substation. The proposed project will require 28.8 acres of right-of-way. Also there are three anticipated residential relocations; two are located in the southeast quadrant one in the northeast quadrant of the proposed interchange. The maintenance of traffic will be divided into three phases of which all traffic will be shifted between I-469 northbound and southbound lanes to accommodate two lanes of traffic on I-469. Traffic will be shifted on U.S. 24 to accommodate construction of the I-469 southbound to U.S. 24 westbound, and the I-469 northbound to U.S. 24 westbound ramps.

An Additional Information (AI) environmental document, including the alternatives screening and evaluations; and preliminary design plans are available to view prior to the public hearing at the following locations:

* Allen County Public Library, 648 Green St., New Haven, IN 46774. Phone # (260) 421-1345

* Indiana Department of Transportation Fort Wayne District Office, 5333 Hatfield Rd., Fort Wayne, IN 46808. Customer Service # 1-866-227-3555

* Hearings Examiner, Indiana Government Center North, N642, 100 North Senate Ave., Indianapolis, IN 46204‑2216. Phone # (317) 234‑0796

In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), persons with disabilities requiring assistance and/or accommodation related to accessibility to project documents and participation at the public hearing venue, are encouraged to contact INDOT’s Office of Public Involvement (317) 232-6601 Persons of Limited English Proficiency (LEP) requiring assistance related to accessing project documents and participation at the public hearing venue are also encouraged to contact INDOT’s Office of Public Involvement. Persons representing an ADA and/or LEP population are encouraged to contact INDOT with regard to coordinating services such as language, visual and audio interpretation services. We respectfully request advance notice should ADA and/or LEP services be required.