Short List Released For I-69 Ohio River Crossing

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In 2016, then-Governor Mike Pence (left) and Governor Matt Bevin (right) signed a memorandum of understanding on behalf of their respective states to develop the project. In 2016, then-Governor Mike Pence (left) and Governor Matt Bevin (right) signed a memorandum of understanding on behalf of their respective states to develop the project.
EVANSVILLE -

The project team behind the I-69 Ohio River Crossing has unveiled a short list of potential locations for the new I-69 bridge connecting Evansville and Henderson, Kentucky. The three corridors are being recommended for further evaluation in a Draft Environmental Impact Statement.

The corridors, known as West Corridor 1, West Corridor 2 and Central Corridor 1 were selected along with a No Build Alternative, which assumes the I-69 Ohio River Crossing is not built and is used for comparison with the three corridor options. The project team emphasizes that no decision has been made on which corridor is the best option.

The West Corridors would replace the existing U.S. 41 bridges, which the project team says would result in the lowest long-term maintenance costs for both states. However, both corridors would impact several residences and businesses in Henderson, despite modest impacts to the environment. The costs of each corridor are similar as well, with one being $910 million compared to the other at just over $1 billion.

Central Corridor 1 is the shortest corridor requiring the least amount of new roadway construction. The project team says it would impact the fewest residences and no businesses, however it has "considerable impacts to farmland, wetlands and forested habitat." The corridor also has the lowest estimated construction costs of up to $860 million.

"Our Project Team is moving forward to further develop alternatives in each corridor," said Marshall Carrier, Kentucky Transportation Cabinet project manager. "This work will include detailed field surveys, impact assessment and engineering analyses. No decisions have been made. Our team will continue to develop each corridor and study cost, impact, community support and financial feasibility."

The project team says, if Central Corridor 1 were chosen for development, it would require a long-term solution for the U.S. 41 bridges, which could range from removal of one or both bridges from service to tolling the bridges to make them financially feasible.

Two previous corridors, known as East Corridor and Central Corridor 2, were not recommended for further study due to high costs and highest environmental impacts.

A considerable amount of further study will be conducted over the next year to determine a preferred corridor for the I-69 Ohio River Crossing project, including examining cost, impact, community support and financial feasibility. The project team expects to identify a preferred alternative by fall 2018, with a Record of Decision expected by late 2019.

Project officials will hold open houses next week to discuss the short list of corridors with the public. They will take place at the following times and locations:

Evansville:

Monday, July 31, 5-7 p.m.
Crescent Room at Milestones
621 S. Cullen Ave.

Henderson:

Tuesday, August 1, 5-7 p.m.
Henderson Community College - Preston Fine Arts Center
2660 S. Green Street

You can also view a map of the corridors, including the two not recommended for further study, below:

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