The Crossing at Whitestown, a 100-acre commercial development proposed southwest of Interstate 65 and Ind. 267, requires significant relocation of Indianapolis Road.

Nathan White of Innovative Engineering presented a concept plan for the project’s drainage; the plan was adopted, but the drainage board was skeptical.

As submitted, the project’s design would require Indianapolis Road be diverted to the west and north, with the new route including two 90-degree turns. A new intersection with a four-way traffic signal would replace the existing junction of Indianapolis Road and Ind. 267. Traffic now is regulated only with stop signs for Indianapolis Road traffic.

“It’s for general business so we’ll take anybody we can get,” White said. The project has no clients now, he added.

Surveyor Ken Hedge said the Indiana Department of Transportation is pushing for the relocation. The state doesn’t want to install a four-way signal at the present intersection, because that might cause traffic to back up to the interstate’s ramps.

White said it was INDOT’s idea to relocate the road. “It’s a very strange arrangement,” he said. But, “they are not fully committed yes or no, yet.”

The state “is supposedly going to contribute some funds” to pay for the relocation, White said.

“By jacking this intersection off to the side, they are creating a traffic hazard for the people of Boone County,” Drainage Board member Byron Loveless said.

“I can’t see a semi making that turn up there,” County Attorney Bob Clutter said, referring to the sharpest of the three turns the new route would require.

Sheriff Ken Campbell was harsher in his criticism.

“Do you know how manpower-intensive that is going to be when we have a crash on the interstate?” Campbell said. “There would be a significant fiscal impact on my overtime budget.”

Officers would have to be stationed at several locations if a major accident closes the interstate and I-65 traffic has to be detoured onto Indianapolis Road, Campbell said.

Approval of the concept plan does not mean the project will pass other government hurdles; a specific drainage plan must be approved, and the project itself must go through review and approval by the Boone County Area Plan Commission.

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