I-69 Extension to Open Nov. 19
November 04, 2012
On Nov. 19, the first three sections of newly constructed I-69 will officially open in Indiana.
The three sections add up to 67 miles of roadway that will stretch from northeast of Evansville, connecting with I-64, to near the Crane Naval Surface Warfare Center, and will connect with U.S. 231.
Construction costs for the projects have totaled approximately $600 million so far. Officials say the state's 75-year Indiana Toll Road lease to private operators for $3.8 billion helped pay for most of the 67 miles of new highway.
Construction is in preliminary planning to further expand the road in the future. The highway eventually is supposed to run from the state's southwest corner to Indianapolis.
The next section - a 27-mile stretch that will run from Crane to just south of Bloomington - is scheduled to open in late 2014. However, it faces opposition from environmental groups, who say the area harbors populations of the federally endangered Indiana bat.
The majority of the costs of the I-69 extension is funded by Indiana's leasing of the Indiana Toll Road for 75 years for $3.8 billion to a Spanish-Austrailian consortium.