The Washington Times-Herald

Columns

November 18, 2012

A dream that became a reality

Our Opinion

WASHINGTON — Come Monday, the dream will be a reality.

What has been a dream for many will be realized when the ribbons are cut for the first three sections of Interstate 69 extension in Indiana. The general public will be driving on the road that evening, around 6 p.m.

Although they might not like the spotlight, this moment and the promise it brings would not be possible without the work of David Graham, David Cox and the late James Newland.

Without these three men, and others along the way like Jo Arthur, David Reed, John Caruthers and Tom Baumert, we would not be driving 67 miles of new highway this Thanksgiving holiday.

We ask the public to join us in thanking these people who had the foresight to see more for Daviess County and the city of Washington. These folks saw what was happening in regards to our local economy and went out to make it better.

We should also be grateful to Gov. Mitch Daniels, who decided to use $700 million from the Major Moves sale of the Indiana Toll Road to build I-69. He was the only political figure to put real dollars to the project. This road will be his lasting legacy, long after we all have passed and we owe him gratitude.

Also deserving recognition are the engineers and designers from the Indiana Department of Transportation and the construction workers from various companies. Without their hard work, the vision of so many would not be realized.

For some, the dream of the interstate is a nightmare, as they have lost land and even their homesteads. Some have moved on with their lives and some are still bitter for losing the homes they have lived in for years.

We donÕt forget them. Their loss has been a sacrifice for the betterment of our community, and while we honor the government and the workers on the road, we should also take time to remember all those who gave up as well. Local and state leaders should also thank them.

The road is only the start of our renaissance. City and county leaders must take this opportunity and aggressively bring commerce to our home. It is not the time for partisan bickering or pandering to interests. We, at the Times Herald are not the only ones watching. The rest of the state and others with interests along the I-69 corridor are watching as well. This moment cannot be wasted.

We donÕt want to see this road stop in Bloomington when that section opens in 2014. We want to see I-69 continue to Indianapolis and beyond. We encourage Governor-elect Mike Pence to follow the foresight of his predecessor Daniels and get the road finished.

On Monday, we will be a witness to history. We thank those who worked in the past to make that day possible and look foward to the future.

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