Scouting options: Surveying begins for final section

In preparation for the construction of the final segment of Interstate 69, surveyors will visit about 1,300 properties, including ones in Johnson County, taking measurements needed to design the interstate.

Surveyors with the Indiana Department of Transportation are spending this summer tracing out specifically where the proposed I-69 route will go from Martinsville to Indianapolis, including through Johnson County. They’ll be taking measurements in the median, right-of-way and on private property in order to assist in the design of what will be the final section of the project.

This information will provide engineers more details for when they begin drawing up designs next year, department of transportation spokesperson LaMar Holliday said. The surveyors will be checking to make sure the information about the properties matches with data the state already has. They’ll be looking at key points along the proposed route, as well as areas where interchanges are planned.

The survey work began last month, when the state mailed letters to property owners informing them that surveyors may visit their properties. About five surveyors are already out along the proposed route, and will be continuing their work through the fall.

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About 1,300 properties will be included in the survey along State Road 37 from Martinsville to Interstate 465 in Indianapolis, cutting through the western edge of Johnson County, Holliday said.

For a Center Grove area church likely to be affected by the new highway, getting more information about how Glenns Valley United Methodist Church’s property at the intersection of County Line Road and State Road 37 will be impacted is vital to deciding the church’s future.

Church members want to know what access will be like once I-69 is constructed, and how the church will be impacted. Depending on the route selected, the church could lose a storage shed and picnic area, said John Steed, who is the chairman of the church’s long-range planning committee.

“We’ve got to figure out if it is the ideal location for the church to stay or if it needs to relocate,” he said.

Steed is not sure if any surveyors have been out to the church yet. They received the letter about surveys starting, but hadn’t noticed anyone on the property. Steed has a meeting next week with state officials, and hopes to get answers to some of his questions.

All property owners whose land is going to be surveyed have been notified in advance. The state has a legal right to enter properties for survey or investigative work, and doesn’t need to have the consent of the property owner, Holliday said.

However, property owners can ask the surveyors for identification, and, if they have questions about the project, they can contact INDOT, Holliday said.

The next step is the release of the final environmental statement which is expected at the start of 2018. Once that it is done, it clears the way for the state to begin acquiring land and designing the interstate. The dates for that work and construction aren’t set, he said.

While the segment of I-69 directly to the south — Section 5 — has been experiencing delays, that won’t impact the work on Section 6, Holliday said.

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Surveyors are going onto properties along State Road 37 to take measurements and collect other data needed to plan the final route of Interstate 69.

Here is what you should know:

Landowners received a letter in the mail if the state is planning to send surveyors on their property.

The state has the right to enter properties for survey or investigative work, and doesn’t need the consent of the property owner

Property owners can ask surveyors for identification.

If property owners have questions about the project, they can contact INDOT at 317-881-6408.