By Associated Press - Wednesday, January 27, 2016

JEFFERSONVILLE, Ind. (AP) - An Indiana Department of Transportation official says the state’s portion of a $30.4 million heavy-haul road in southern Indiana is behind schedule.

Transportation department spokesman Will Wingfield said the state’s part of the road connecting State Road 265 to the Port of Indiana-Jeffersonville has yet to be designed. He said an environmental analysis of the land isn’t complete.

The segment was originally planned to be finished around October, the News and Tribune (https://bit.ly/1UqZd5O ) reported. Wingfield said that original scheduling was “aggressive.”

Federal funds are contributing to the project and federal law for environmental review must be followed, Wingfield said. The process has been more complex than predicted because the area “is rich in historical resources,” he said, with Native American and colonial settlements in the area. Artifacts that have been found are now being analyzed.

“It’s one of those things that it takes as long as it takes,” he said.



Wingfield said historical and environmental studies and a route recommendation will be completed and presented publicly this summer. An updated timeline will also be presented at that time.

A public meeting will be held in Jeffersonville on Thursday to update residents on the project.

It’s possible that the timeline for the state’s segment of the project, Wingfield said, has been made longer by the partnership between the state transportation department, Jeffersonville, the Ports of Indiana, Clark County and the Kentuckiana Regional Planning and Development Agency.

“These are not projects that are entirely under our own control,” he said.

Another segment of the heavy-haul road overseen by the River Ridge Commerce Center is on schedule to open by the end of the year, said commerce center executive director Jerry Acy. That segment runs through the commerce center and connects State Road 265 to State Road 62. Wingfield said that section is “locally funded and is being built on land that River Ridge already controlled.”

Acy said the first phase of River Ridge’s portion is under construction, and the rest will be under contract for construction this spring.

“We’re going to do whatever it takes to get it built, obviously,” he said.

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Information from: News and Tribune, Jeffersonville, Ind., https://www.newsandtribune.com

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