Column: Remarks steer questions about I-69 transportation


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Recently I had the honor of addressing the Indiana House committee on roads and transportation. One would think such a distinguished group would not want to hear from a long-term critic of the General Assembly. But they merely laughed when I was introduced.

My purpose on this rare occasion was to support the naming of a bridge on Interstate 69 for David Graham and James Newland. Both men were leaders in the long struggle to build I-69, not just from Indianapolis, via Bloomington, to Evansville, but from Canada to Mexico.

Newland, in particular, was a friend who taught me much about civility and persistence in the pursuit of desirable objectives. He and Graham, with many others from southwest Indiana, patiently and persuasively lobbied for I-69. They recognized its importance and feasibility long before it was politically popular. Despite often irrational opposition, they pressed to bring facts and cogent argument to the heated discussion that still smolders today.

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