Winnecke: I-69 'Not Complete' Without New BridgePosted: Updated:
Evansville Mayor Lloyd Winnecke says an I-69 bridge between southwest Indiana and northwest Kentucky would have "huge ramifications" throughout the state. He and Henderson, Kentucky Mayor Steve Austin have launched BridgeLink, which will advocate for the $1 billion proposal. Winnecke says the project would create a more efficient path for goods and services to flow between the two states.
October 14, 2013
At a news conference today, Evansville Mayor Lloyd Winnecke and Henderson Mayor Steve Austin announced the formation of BridgeLink, a new joint venture between the Chamber of Commerce of Southwestern Indiana and the Henderson-Henderson County Chamber of Commerce. The mission of BridgeLink is to advocate for the building of an Interstate bridge over the Ohio River connecting Interstate 69 from Southwestern Indiana to Northwest Kentucky.
Mayor Winnecke said for decades the State of Indiana's focus has been on completing I-69 between Evansville and Indianapolis. After a lot of hard work, planning and perseverance that segment is almost finished and the focus should shift to completing an Interstate bridge.
"I-69 from Evansville to Indianapolis is already having a positive impact on the region, and I am very excited about the progress that has been made," Mayor Winnecke said. "But the project is not totally complete. We cannot take full advantage of potential economic development opportunities until an Interstate-69 bridge is built linking Southwest Indiana to Northwest Kentucky. Otherwise, I-69 becomes little more than a cul-de-sac that ends at Evansville."
Mayor Austin said when complete I-69 will extend from the Great Lakes to the Gulf of Mexico, connecting shipping ports in Canada to ports along the Texas Gulf Coast. The Tri-State region, anchored by Henderson and Evansville, will be the mid-point on the new major north-south transportation route.
"Shipping times in our area are currently insufficient due in part to a lack of turning and passing lanes, multiple railroad crossings and traffic signals," Mayor Austin said. "Without direct Interstate shipping routes and connections our area is handicap when it comes to economic development possibilities."
Austin said we only have to look to our Kentucky neighbors in Bowling Green with Interstate-65 and Paducah with Interstate-24 to see tangible economic growth and employment that can result from a complete and connected Interstate transportation network.
Source: City of Evansville