Hank Menke, the president of the local I-67 Coalition described the process of getting the proposed interstate highway approved and built in its entirety to eating an elephant.
Menke (pictured) was the featured speaker at Wednesday’s Huntingburg Chamber of Commerce’s Business Education Series at the chamber’s office in the Old National Bank building.
For two years now, Menke has been leading the effort to have an interstate-grade highway built that runs from I-65 near Bowling Green, Kentucky to the new I-69 near Washington, Indiana. The I-67 effort was started by Menke after the Indiana Department of Transportation abandoned its efforts two years ago to four-lane U. S. 231 from I-64 near Dale to the new I-69 near the Crane Naval Center.
Menke, who is president and CEO of Huntingburg-based OFS Brands is also a member of the governor-appointed “Blue Ribbon” Panel On Transportation Infrastructure that is reviewing and rating Indiana’s current and long-term transportation needs over the next 10 years. He told the chamber group Wednesday that the proposed I-67 highway is currently not on the panel’s proposed list of primary projects (targeted for completion in the next three to five years). Menke says he understands with so many proposed transportation projects under consideration that adding a new interstate to the list is like trying to swallow an elephant and says he say the only way you eat an elephant, “is one bite at a time.”
To this, Menke announced yesterday that the I-67 lobbying effort through Dubois County is now being called the Mid-State Corridor in hopes that the 38-mile section of the proposed four-lane highway (from Dale to Washington) can be completed in the next eight to 10 years.
Menke says the “Blue Ribbon” Panel On Transportation Infrastructure will meet in Huntingburg next month. This will be the fourth meeting of the panel since it was created this past fall.
The panel will meet on Friday, April 25th, at OFS Headquarters in Huntingburg. The meeting will begin at 1pm and is open to the public.