I-69 Ohio River Crossing Project Offices Open Tuesday

The I-69 Ohio River Crossing project offices officially opened on Tuesday.

Evansville Mayor Lloyd Winnecke and Henderson Mayor Steve Austin helped to officially open the offices, each on their respective sides of the river.

One project office is open each weekday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and by appointment.

The Evansville project office is at 320 Eagle Crest Dr., Ste. C, and is open Monday, Tuesday and Thursday.

The Henderson office is located at 1970 Barrett Ct. Ste. 100, and is open Wednesday and Friday.

“The project offices are a visual reminder that we’re on the right track and on the way to completing this important connection between our two cities,” said Mayor Winnecke. “A new I-69 bridge is vitally important to Evansville, Henderson and beyond. I-69 is not complete until we can connect with our neighbors in Kentucky.”

Then-Indiana Governor Mike Pence and Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin signed a memorandum in June of 2016 directing both Indiana and Kentucky to develop a federally-required Environmental Impact Statement for an I-69 Ohio River Crossing.

We are told the study is expected to take two to three years to complete. It will identify the route, bridge location, and financing solutions for a new I-69 Ohio River Crossing.

“This community has been talking about the importance of an I-69 Ohio River Crossing for years now,” said Mayor Austin. “To stand in front of this project office and say it’s officially open for business is a day for celebration. Work is underway that will lead us to a much-needed interstate connection between Henderson and Evansville.”

“We’ve been busy since then, listening to members of the public and a variety of stakeholders,” said Janelle Lemon, Indiana Department of Transportation project manager. “Public involvement is a significant part of the process, and will help guide the decisions we’re making.”

The public can call, email, or visit the project website by clicking here for more information or to share their comments.

A short list of alternatives are expected in late July.

The Project Team has been gathering data about the five corridors in addition to gathering public input.

Information is being collected on where homes and businesses are located along with identifying historic structures and potential environmental impacts for each corridor.

We are told the team is also looking at potential construction costs and expected operations and maintenance costs.

“The screening process is extensive,” said Marshall Carrier, Kentucky Transportation Cabinet project manager. “All of the data is considered, along with feedback from the public and stakeholders, to make informed decisions on what corridors make the most sense to study further. We should have a short list of alternatives later in July.”

Open houses are expected to be held on both sides of the river in late July and early August to get additional feedback from the public.

The goal is to have a recommendation for a preferred alternative by fall of 2018 as well as a Record of Decision by late 2019.

The Record of Decision allows the states, with the help of federal funds available, to move forward with the design, land purchases, and construction.

(This story was originally published June 27, 2017)

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