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Halfway mark: U.S. 50 eastern bypass next project


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With the western portion of the U.S. 50 bypass that circumvents North Vernon opening last week, Indiana Department of Transportation officials are turning their attention to the eastern portion of the bypass this week.

INDOT will have a public hearing at 6 p.m. Wednesday in the GT Room at Jennings County High School, 800 W. Walnut St. in North Vernon.

Doors will open at 5 p.m. for the public to visit with project officials in the library adjacent to the GT Room and view project displays. The formal presentation will be followed by a public comment session.

The purpose of the public hearing is to offer an opportunity to comment on current project plans and the Section 106 finding of adverse impact on historic properties, an INDOT media release said. Comment forms and recording devices will be available to capture public comments.

Western portion open Lt. Gov. Sue Ellspermann joined local officials, INDOT and the Indiana National Guard to officially cut the ribbon Tuesday on 4.5 miles of the new North Vernon bypass, INDOT said in the release.

The two-lane, limited access highway is realigning U.S. 50 traffic north of the city, reducing congestion and improving safety for both trucks and passenger vehicles.

This western section of the bypass was built by Force Construction Co. and Milestone Contractors, both of Columbus, for a total of $25 million. As part of the project, three bridges on the existing U.S. 50 west of the bypass are being rehabilitated.

The bypass is being built and opened to traffic in two phases, with the midpoint north of the city at State Road 3. The section that opened Tuesday northwest of the city will be temporarily named State Road 750, until the entire bypass is completed and reconnected to U.S. 50.

Drivers should use caution where existing roads meet the new bypass, INDOT said in the release.

A new signal has been activated at the State Road 7 intersection. All other intersections will open as one- or two-way stops with cross-traffic not stopping.

IF YOU GO

What: Indiana Department of Public Transportation public hearing about the eastern portion of the U.S. 50 bypass around North Vernon.

When: 6 p.m. Wednesday.

Where: In the GT Room at Jennings County High School, 800 W. Walnut St. in North Vernon.

Notable: Doors will open at 5 p.m. for the public to visit with project officials in the library adjacent to the GT Room and view project displays. The formal presentation will be followed by a public comment session.

Also: Comments also may be submitted by Jan. 3 by fax at 317-616-1033, email to daniel.prevost@parsons.com or mail to U.S. 50 North Vernon Bypass – East Project, c/o Parsons, 101 W. Ohio St., Suite 2121, Indianapolis, IN 46204.

ENVIRONMENTAL INFO

The environmental assessment for the eastern portion of the bypass is available for public review at www.in.gov/indot/projects/2429.htm.

The document highlights changes since the public meeting in September 2012 and includes an analysis of the alternatives.

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