Indiana Replaces Displaced Wetlands

Sat December 20, 2003 - Midwest Edition

CLARKSVILLE, IN (AP) Highway crews are creating three wetlands to replace wildlife habitats disrupted by construction on Interstate 65 in southern Indiana.

Federal environmental regulations require that disturbed wetlands be replaced, Todd Listerman, district engineer for the Indiana Department of Transportation, said Dec. 3.

In recent weeks, 2,100 tree seedlings have been planted along the sides of a 37-ft.-deep hole crews dug in the median near Interstate 65 and Indiana 62.Workers also planted grass and 68 10-ft. trees, including sycamores, maples, pines and ashes, to create a 7.5-acre wetland.

“Most people didn’t realize that in the median area ... there was a wetland,” Listerman said.

The $300,000 wetland project is in the watershed of Mill Creek, which connects with the Ohio River near the Falls of the Ohio.

Construction crews also are creating another replacement wetland alongside the I-65 interchange at Lewis & Clark Parkway, formerly Indiana 131. That wetland will be about half the size of the Indiana 62 wetland when it is completed next spring.

A third wetland to replace one displaced at the I-65 interchange with Indiana 60 already has been completed, Listerman said. That $86,000 wetland was placed a few miles away because there was not enough existing right-of-way to restore it at the original site.