Indiana Governor Mike Pence and Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin have signed an agreement to move forward with plans to extend Interstate 69 beyond the state border. The Ohio River Crossing announcement is decades in the making and adds to the ongoing, long-term work to expand I-69. Pence says a Request for Proposals will be issued for the environmental and design stages of the work "within a matter of months."
Together, the states have so far set aside $17 million for development costs. They will also split costs and oversight of the preliminary design and environmental testing work.
Pence calls the bridge an "artery of growth" that will help bring more prosperity to both states. A precise location has yet to be determined, but it will cross the river between Evansville and Henderson. "As the Crossroads of America, we know that roads mean jobs here in the Hoosier state. The partnership we are announcing today is a significant step in completing the vision of I-69 that will strengthen our transportation network and support economic investment and opportunity for generations of Hoosiers to come, Pence said during a news conference Thursday at Ellis Park in Henderson. He added the plans also include improvements to the nearby U.S. 41 bridge.
The states are currently partnering on the Ohio River Bridges project in southeast Indiana, which involves two bridges and several overpasses joining multiple interstates between Jeffersonville and Louisville. That project is nearing its finish and Pence says it will be on-time and under-budget.
The review and federal approval processes to select the location of the project could take around three years state officials estimate.
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Governor Mike Pence calls the proposed bridge “the missing link” for the regional economy.