HAMILTON COUNTY, Ind. — The Indiana Department of Transportation has announced its decision to withdraw interest in claiming eminent domain over a popular Hamilton County farm market.

INDOT had previously confirmed its US 31 limited access project, which included utilizing eminent domain to acquire the land of the Wilson Famly Farm, which is based on 256th Street and U.S. 31, and other areas of land on US 31 in northern Hamilton County as crews worked to make the area a safer place to drive.

INDOT had previously indicated its desire to acquire the land due to a high frequency of crashes, with INDOT PR Director Kyleigh Cramer previously stating that the stretch of land on US 31 near the private property has seen “more than 400 crashes from 2014 to 2020.”

The project included plans to design a cul-de-sac at 256th St. and US 31.

Cramer also referenced a recent study that she said illustrated a high crash rate happening within an eight-mile stretch of US 31 as a result of drivers who are speeding and ignoring traffic signals. A total of 432 crashes reportedly occurred in that section of the roadway, according to INDOT.

INDOT’s US 31 limited access project focused on a 7.5-mile stretch of road from State Road 38 to 286th Street.

The move would have seen Hamilton County lose one of its most beloved locally-owned markets, with the Wilson Family Farm being in operation for more than 40 years.

Scott Wilson, the owner of the farm, had previously said that the project would have forced him to move.

INDOT had filed a letter of interest but had not finalized eminent domain yet.

INDOT said it will look into alternative options for the project in a statement sent to FOX59/CBS4 Tuesday evening. That full statement can be read below:

After comments received from the public regarding the proposed cul-de-sac at 256th St. and US 31, INDOT revisited the design of the Limited Access project. Due to design changes in response to these comments, INDOT has withdrawn its intent to acquire the Wilson Farm Market property. 

The agency has communicated frequently with the property owner throughout planning and development and asked for feedback from the owner on the revised design. When construction begins, improvements will be made that avoid impacts to the property while still delivering improved safety and mobility along US 31 in Hamilton County.