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the  Greenwood Crier section

I-65 Interchange information abundant at meeting

Public educated about I-65 at meeting

Thanks to Ex-Mayor’s hard work, Greenwood gets economic Ka-boom

By Allen Watts –Dec, 2012

Allen@JcCrier.com

The meeting Thursday at Clark Pleasant, was not a meeting, but rather a open house for the

public with lots of simulation video and pictures that were of various options of the project

interchange. The meeting open house was to help the people be informed with all the know-

ledge about this project that was presently possible, communication if you will. Also to gather

input from the public.

Lack of being informed is a dangerous thing. A good example is one man who declined to give

his name, was very vocal and open about his disapproval of the project. His lack of information

made him dangerous for the successful support of others than might be influenced by him. He

was vocal about the project that he thought would bring interstate traffic right to the school.

However, what he was NOT informed about was the intent of Greenwood to install a back

road access to the middle and elementary schools that will lead to Sheek road. Thus, interstate

traffic will not hinder the school.

   This person was NOT properly informed and had his opinions based on bad information. He

was a poorly informed person who could make “waves” for a very good project.

    The meeting was an informal one and no presentation was given. Rather INDOT representatives

 were present with lots of nomenclature and to answer peoples questions, while they browsed

around the endless gathering of information.

   KimberLee Peters INDOT’s project engineer says, “This meeting is informal and is all about information and interacting with the public, while at the same time we are getting public input”.

     Peters says the meeting will give INDOT and designers a more definite feeling for what is best accepted and better for the community. This meeting had a lot of attendees and they certainly gave their opinions of mostly supporting how they felt about the project.

    Peters says INDOT will hold anther public hearing in the spring and at that time they will have narrowed down a preferred design and the direction on INDOT’s intentions with more defined information about the project. The spring will have also an environment study. At this meeting there will be a presentation and more definite ideas.

    Peters said, “An environment study is necessary for any project of this scope. Environment studies are not just for chemical influence of a project, but instead, is a study of how the entire project will impact the community and surrounding areas environment.

   Environment studies include effects of many things and also includes things like; Will this help or add to wet lands in the area; how will this affect public traffic safety; how it will impact your commuting; how will it improve economic finances for the community; will this community be better off with such a change.

     David Payne ex-mayoral candidate said he thought the project was a very good and a needed thing. However, he was deeply concerned about the one proposed “Crossover” design and felt it might confuse more drivers, rather than helping them. Payne says, “I know a lot of people who live south of Greenwood and they have to do a “go around” every morning to work to avoid areas of Greenwood traffic congestion and Whiteland’s traffic issues”.

   Mike Campbell Greenwood city councilman said, “This is going to change the way people do business here”. Also this means that the interstate easy access is going to be a great influence on many things and Campbell felt that it would be improvement for the community and all surrounding areas.

   Mike Campbell says, “After looking over the three possible designs and asking the INDOT people several questions, I like the Diverging Diamond Design for the following reasons”;

1. It requires the least amount of right-of-way acquisition

2. It is the most pedestrian friendly

3. It has the lowest risk of accident

4. It is the least expensive … & …

5. It is a unique design (currently the only one in Indiana) that I think will add to the attractiveness of the area.

    Mike adds, “The only drawback I see is the learning curve for drivers. The design of the crossovers could make it seem as if you are driving on the wrong side of the road.

Of course, my current view is base on only a few minutes of information gathered tonight. So, it is possible as more info comes to light, that my views could change”.

    David Payne had similar thoughts about the CrossOver Diamond design. People are quick to adapt to driving changes to conditions, and this may be a choice to consider.

    Campbell is another Greenwood official who believes in transparency in government. His efforts to help information be disseminated to  the public are a tribute his character and the city of Greenwood.

   Who will benefit for this interchange besides Greenwood? Shelbyville just a stones throw east will definitely have more interstate access and easier routes east-westerly. The prediction is that Shelbyville will continue what is presently an extension of Worthville road into Shelbyville and eventually that will become a much-needed east-west corridor in Johnson County.

    Morgan county just west of Greenwood will also benefit with a coupling of the east-west corridor and easy access to I-65.

   The project will be a great asset to attract business to the area and also to surrounding areas of commerce.

    Many other residents and greenwood officials were at the informal gathering. The atmosphere was ticking with the buzz of the new interchange and the impact it will have on the community. One thing is certain, communication is a very big asset for any project and Greenwood and INDOT is performing that remarkably well.

    Greenwood’s Mayor Mark Myers told me, earlier in the year, that he though transparency and communication was one of the most needed things in Greenwood. He campaigned on that issue. He is keeping his word so far and this meeting is a good example of openness and transparency.

    The people can either, attend such meetings and be informed, or they might here about it from someone else. Whichever the case, the proper information will be disseminated properly and with openness and transparency.

Timeline (4) separate projects;

-(#1-Completed)Greenwood has already diverted Graham road. A Henderson Project.

-(#2-Ready) The Worthsville road project will begin in January of 2013 or as early as possible.

-(#3-Ready) The Greenwood EDC is having an access roads built to the Schools on Worthsville road back to Sheek road in the spring or summer of 2013

-(#4-Close to ready) The I-65 and Worthsville road interchange (A separate project) will begin in January 2014.

-All related projects are expected to merge final completions times, at nearly the same time, which is estimated to be around the end of 2014, the completion dates.

  These are tremendous projects with an even more tremendous scope of work. Greenwood has invested well into YOUR future and the areas economic future, and also Greenwood’s city “quality of life status”.

    This will be one of the biggest things that will benefit Johnson County and surrounding counties, Shelby, Morgan, Marion and Bartholomew, respectively.

The real thanks goes to;

  Lets be honest and give proper credit where credit is due. These types of projects take years of planning and many years of hard work. It doesn’t happen over night.

   Ex-Mayor Charles Earl Henderson who had a dream-vision for Greenwood to be a thriving metropolis, a place where people “set the bar” for where/how others would want to live. He wanted Greenwood to become “The place” others wanted to live, a city better, more desirable, and affordable, than Carmel or Fishers!

   Now one year out of office, and from a 16-year tenure as Mayor. (Which no other Greenwood mayor will ever touch that record) Ex-mayor Henderson’s hard work is becoming a reality.

    Charles Earl Henderson, you have to like him and even love him, even if at times you might have hated him. His desire to make Greenwood the most desired Indiana City to live in has become a certainty and these projects will put “the cream on the cake”.

     Ex-Mayor Charles Earl Henderson’s efforts and his vision of Greenwood’s Future has shaped the better future for you and your children. You should thank him when you see him.

      Thanks Mayor!