Gov. Eric Holcomb has announced that $75 million will be dedicated to making improvements to U.S. 231 in Dubois and Martin counties.

This funding has nothing to do with the Mid-State Corridor efforts, Jason Tiller, communications director for the Indiana Department of Transportation’s Southwest District, said Monday.

“That is totally separate,” he said. “These are totally different projects.”

The money is part of $475 million being dedicated to three infrastructure projects in southern Indiana. The governor made the announcement Friday at the Southwest Indiana Chamber of Commerce’s Lunch with the Governor in Evansville.

The dedicated $75 million will go to the design and construction of added travel lanes, passing lanes and intersection improvements at various locations on the state road. The improvements are expected to reduce congestion in the Jasper and Huntingburg areas, Erin Murphy, Holcomb’s press secretary, wrote in an announcement about the funding. They will also improve safety and mobility throughout the approximately 48-mile corridor from I-64 near Dale to I-69 near Crane, Murphy wrote.

Construction is anticipated to start by late 2022.

About $200 million will be used to extend State Road 101 from the existing portion of the highway at U.S. 50 near Milan to the Ohio River crossing via Markland Dam near Vevay. Initial planning will start within the next year.

Another $200 million will be used to construct Indiana's approach to the I-69 Ohio River Crossing near Evansville, a project that is estimated to start in 2024.

"Indiana's location and extensive transportation network make our state one of the most attractive places in the country to do business and create jobs," Holcomb said. "These projects will better connect our communities, enhance commerce within and beyond our borders and deliver value for Hoosiers for generations to come."

Meanwhile, research on the Mid-States Corridor continues locally.

“That is not an INDOT project right now,” Tiller said. “That is something that has come from the [Mid-States] coalition. INDOT is participating in meetings and studies and things like that. But as of right now, INDOT has not funded that project. That is still very much a work in progress, and it is very much locally driven.”

The Mid-States Corridor is a proposed, four-lane, limited-access highway that would run north from Owensboro, Kentucky, and through Dubois County to connect to I-69. The section that is currently being studied to determine a route starts at U.S. 231 near I-64.

While there is support for the road, many Dubois County residents have voiced their concerns. Residents are worried that the road will take farmland and people’s property, will be costly for taxpayers and hurt small businesses by diverting traffic around the two cities.
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