Dame expresses support for I-69 Ohio River crossing project

The proposed plan for the I-69 Ohio River crossing project as of December 2018 is shown.

McLean County Judge-Executive Curtis Dame has expressed his support for the I-69 Ohio River crossing project. The project would link Kentucky and Indiana with a new bridge in Henderson and Evansville.

“My letter of support is for the development of the Ohio River I-69 crossing,” Dame said. “What’s important about officials, for example, in McLean County, writing letters of support is that it shows there’s a broad regional impact for these programs.”

Dame said the services and commerce that would flow through the crossing would impact McLean County, especially Beech Grove.

“To me, it’s a no-brainer to try to support these efforts as they try to get grant funding for these bridge development projects,” he said. “I obviously don’t see that there’s a negative for that.”

The proposed project will cut travel times during peak hours by about 10 minutes.

According to the I-69 Ohio River crossing website, the estimated cost of the project in 2018 is $1.497 billion. A total of $200 million would go to design, right of way, mitigation, procurement and construction inspection. A total of $807 million would go to construction costs, which includes roadways, the bridge, toll system and utilities. $225 million would cover construction inflation and $234 million would cover roadway and bridge operations and maintenance.

The entirety of I-69 stretches from Canada to Mexico. Kentucky has invested $210 million as of 2018 for “many updates” to the I-69 corridor between Mayfield and Henderson, according to the website.

If the projected project goes as planned, construction on the Kentucky section of I-69 could begin as soon as 2022.

There are two alternatives planned for I-69. Central Alternative 1A includes a toll booth I-69 bridge and one of the US 41 bridges that connect Henderson and Evansville. Central Alternative 1B includes toll only on the I-69 bridge.

According to the website, only one of the US 41 bridges will be retained for two-way traffic due to its historic significance.

Under the alternatives 1A and 1B, new interchanges will be created at the existing I-69 in Indiana, at US 60 and at the existing US 41 south of Henderson, between Van Wyk Road and Kimsey Lane.

There is an expected 11.2 miles of new interstate to be created through this project as well. 8.4 miles will be of I-69 on a new location and 2.8 miles of improvements to the existing US 41 to meet interstate standards.

The selection of the preferred method will be based on the fewest residential relocations, no commercial relocations, cross-river redundancy, lowest total cost and fewest impacts to natural resources such as wetlands, floodways, managed lands and streams.

According to the website, Gov. Andy Beshear included funding in his six-year state highway plan in 2020. Kentucky lawmakers granted $227 million for the project over a five-year period.

For more information about the project, visit i69ohiorivercrossing.com or call 888-515-9756. The Henderson office is located at 1970 Barrett Ct. Suite 100 in Henderson.

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