The Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana Regional Council of Governments is conducting a year-long, transportation planning study to investigate options for improvements to existing roadways, potential new roadways, and/or a combination of both to improve safety, access and other travel needs between the unincorporated Bright Area of northeastern Dearborn County and Interstate 74. OKI was asked by the Dearborn County Commission to manage and perform this study. The study began in October 2015.
The study’s scope does not include a parcel-by-parcel data examination or detailed, engineered drawings. This planning-level study is the first step in the Indiana Department of Transportation’s Project Development Process to determine what improvements are needed and should be moved forwards towards future detailed design and construction. The timing of construction will be dependent upon funding availability. The Bright 74 Study is being funded by OKI federal planning funds ($160,000) matched (80/20) by funds provided by Dearborn County Commission ($40,000).
The study area covers approximately 19 square miles in Harrison and Logan townships in northeastern Dearborn County. The study area is generally bounded by Salt Fork and State Line Roads to the south, Indiana 46 and Interstate 74 to the north, Whites Hill Road on the west and the Indiana state boarder on the east.
The Dearborn County transportation system lacks a critical north/south corridor providing safe, efficient connections between the highly populated portions of Miller and Harrison townships and Interstate 74. At the same time, the Interstate 74 corridor is an underutilized east/west asset in the northern part of the county which can provide improved mobility and economic opportunity.
At the conclusion of the study, a set of one or more recommended transportation improvement projects will be identified for future design, funding and construction.
The need for this study is identified in the OKI 2040 Regional Transportation Plan. Since 2012, the OKI Regional Transportation Plan has included a potential new connector roadway linking Bright to Interstate 74, however planning and design for a potential connector had not been initiated. In 2015, with local funding and support from Dearborn County, OKI began the Bright 74 Study to investigate options for improvements to existing roadways, potential new roadways, and/or a combination of both. The Study’s goal is to improve safety, access and other travel needs between the Bright area and I-74.
In addition, the OKI 2004 Dearborn County Transportation Assessment, calls for roadway improvements on the following arterial roadways within the study area: State Line Road, North Dearborn Road, Jamison Road, Old US Hwy 52 and North State Street.
The Bright I-74 Study will explore all viable modal options by following the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) Project Development Process (PDP) for Major Projects. Study tasks will generally follow the INDOT Project Development Manual Steps 2 through Step 5 to develop preliminary alternatives and a final recommendation, but will not include the initiation of environmental field studies, resources agency coordination or NEPA documentation. The study is expected to be completed in approximately 12 months (October 2016).