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State facing bigger bills for Indiana bypass land

The Associated Press


TERRE HAUTE, Ind. — The state highway department faces paying much more than it offered for some properties on the route of the new bypass being built around Terre Haute.

Trials are scheduled this fall on how much the state must pay for two large properties being crossed by the Indiana 641 bypass that will link Interstate 70 and U.S. 41 around the city's southeast side, the Tribune-Star reported (http://bit.ly/13DPO2v ).

Those trials are approaching after a Vigo County jury last week set the value of a 22-acre plot near the current I-70 and Indiana 46 interchange at $1.3 million. The Indiana Department of Transportation had sought to pay up to $325,000 for the land.

Highway agency spokeswoman Debbie Calder said that it has possession of all 93 properties needed for the 6.2-mile, four-lane bypass. All that remains is determining how much will be paid for five of those properties.

"This will not impact State Road 641 (construction) progress, as INDOT has deposited payment with the court and has possession of the properties," Calder said.

The largest property for which a purchase price has been settled is a nearly 50-acre plot owned by Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology.

A trial is scheduled for November after the state and the private engineering college couldn't reach an agreement in mediation on the value of the land that is about five miles from the Rose-Hulman campus. The state has offered about $1.2 million for the property.

The other trial is set for October on an 18-acre site for which the highway agency offered nearly $180,000.

Final phases of the bypass — includes an upgraded I-70 and Indiana 46 interchange — are scheduled for completion in 2015 with a total estimated cost of about $160 million.

The bypass is aimed at helping relief traffic congestion on U.S. 41 on Terre Haute's south side and open up new areas for development.

Information from: Tribune-Star, http://www.tribstar.com

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