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Bloomington area looks at I-69 truck-stop rules

– Officials in southern Indiana’s Monroe County are looking at tougher rules for any truck stops that might be built with the opening of the Interstate 69 extension.

The county Planning Department is proposing the rules for new truck stops in the Bloomington area, the Herald-Times reported.

The proposal would ban overnight parking unless at a space with electrical service to prevent trucks from idling for hours. Another provision would limit truck stops to industrial zones and to within 2,000 feet of a highway exit or entry ramp.

County planning director Larry Wilson said any new truck stop would have to be a state-of-the-art project, including plans for spill containment beyond fuel leaks.

“It doesn’t have to be hazardous waste,” Wilson said. “It could be milk. But a few thousand gallons of milk could have a disastrous impact.”

A 67-mile stretch of I-69 opened last November from near Evansville at I-64 to near the Crane Naval Surface Warfare Center southwest of Bloomington. Construction is under way on a 27-mile section between Crane and Bloomington that is expected to open to traffic late next year. Many Bloomington-area residents and officials spent years unsuccessfully trying to block the state’s proposed route for extending I-69 between Indianapolis and Evansville.

Kelsy Benckart, of Bloomington-based Stone Belt Freight Lines, said she worried about how the county would define a truck stop and that the rules could limit the availability of services for semis.

“From a safety standpoint, the last place I want to see trucks is on the side of the highway,” she said. “They will stop, because the law requires them to.”

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