The group has been mobilizing in opposition of the proposed State Road 101 extension project in SEI.
(Aurora, Ind.) – Any construction of an improved State Road 101 link in southeastern Indiana is years down the road, but many in the area are striving to halt the project entirely.
Stop Link 101 has been mobilizing in opposition to the highway by signing petitions, submitting public comments, and displaying yard signs throughout the area.
The group will host a rally on Saturday, September 23 at Gabbard Riverfront from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. It will be the first public demonstration against the project.
The event will feature project presentation speakers, Stop Link 101 yard signs and t-shirts, food vendors and shaved ice, and community conversation and discussion.
In August, 10 alternatives were identified as potential routes for a new State Road 101 link between Markland Dam in Vevay and U.S. 50. The Link 101 Project team plans to condense the list and choose a preferred alternative by the summer of 2024.
Of the 10 alternatives, three would be entirely new roads, while the other seven alternatives included connections with existing roads such as State Roads 56, 129, 156, 262, Markland Pike, and/or Cass Union Road
Area residents had up until September 8 to provide comments on the project.
A 471-page Public Information Meeting #1 Summary from May 2023 shows over 400 pages of public comment with many of the submissions showing opposition to the project.
One submission reads as follows:
“I oppose using our hard-earned tax dollars to do the proposed SR 101 extension project. I don’t think it is needed. It will tear up more open space, farmland and woodland, the very things that make Indiana a nice place to live. And our tax dollars could be better spent fixing our existing roads which everyone knows are in poor shape, especially some of our bridges. Use our money better, and stop this unneeded project."
Many others expressed a similar sentiment about building a road that would impact the natural habitat of local wildlife, the natural landscape, and farmland.
Proponents of the project say the 101 corridor project has the potential to reduce traffic on windy and hilly country roads, and could reduce the wear and tear on county roads, improve emergency response times, and provide straighter routes to various destinations.
Governor Eric Holcomb first announced $200 million in funding for the project in 2021 as part of a package of investments in southern Indiana to better connect communities and enhance commerce. It is currently unknown what it would officially cost to build a State Road 101 connector considering a final route has yet to be determined.
The next step is determining a smaller number of alternatives to be carried forward for more detailed analysis, which includes benefits, impacts and costs that will help identify a single preferred alternative. A draft environmental document would follow with a public hearing planned for fall of 2024.
For more information about the Link 101 project, visit https://link101corridor.com/.
To learn more about Stop Link 101, visit https://stoplink101.com/.