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4/18/2017 7:52:00 PM
Plans for final I-69 leg moves forward despite Bloomington-Martinsville delays

Kaitlin L. Lange, Evansville Courier & Press

INDIANAPOLIS -- Despite delays on the stretch of I-69 between Bloomington and Martinsville, the Indiana Department of Transportation is moving ahead with its plans for the next leg of the highway connecting Evansville to Indianapolis.

Those between Martinsville and Indianapolis were given a chance to voice their opinions on the route proposed in the state's draft impact statement at public meetings the last two weeks, and Hoosiers have until May 8 to submit written comments.

The proposed route will likely be built on a widened Indiana 37, but some details are still up in the air. The final proposal won't be released until the beginning of 2018.

The proposed 26-mile route will likely include 10 exits, 16 overpasses or underpasses and new local access roads. Between 80 and 96 businesses could be forced to relocate in each of the proposals.

“This is an important milestone for an important project, and it couldn’t have been accomplished without the significant amount of public input we received from hundreds of citizens, elected officials and civic organizations along the corridor,” Indiana Department of Transportation Commissioner Joe McGuinness said in a statement. “This draft study moves us closer to what’s been talked about for so, so long – finishing I-69 and having a free flow of traffic from Evansville to Indianapolis.”

People can comment on the proposals at www.in.gov/indot/projects/i69/2463.htm or by mail to the I-69 Section 6 project office, 7847 Waverly Road, Martinsville, IN 46151.

While the state is progressing on section six, the portion of I-69 between Bloomington and Martinsville has been a headache for many. The project has already been delayed 18 months, and the parent company of the lead contractor for the project is experiencing financial difficulty.

Earlier this month Reuters recently reported that Isolux Corsan, the parent company of the lead contractor, had just started the process to avoid insolvency. Isolux could potentially be forced to start the bankruptcy process if it doesn't find funds in four months.

INDOT has not announced how the final leg will be funded.

Related Stories:
• I-69 Section 5 work continues as contractor wrestles with finances
• EDITORIAL: No to tolls on Indiana interstates

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