The Indiana Finance Authority has reached settlement agreements with I-69 Development Partners and its bond holders allowing the state to take over Section 5 of the I-69 extension project. The Indiana Department of Transportation will assume control of the project, connecting Bloomington to Martinsville, by the end of July.
The project was originally slated for completion in October 2016 and is now expected to be finished in August 2018. As part of the deal the IFA will issue its own lower-interest highway revenue bonds to replace the bonds of I-69 Development Partners, a move that is expected to save Indiana taxpayers $30 million.
I-69 Development Partners will pay an additional $12 million to the bond holders and $50 million to the IFA as part of the settlement. The state will then be responsible for the operation and maintenance of the 21-mile stretch of I-69 for the next 35 years.
"INDOT’s first task is to ensure a smooth transition of project teams," said INDOT Commissioner Joe McGuinness. "As we work through those initial changes, construction work that is currently underway will continue. More important, there will be no lapse in the safety and mobility operations that keep traffic moving and the work zone safe."
Governor Eric Holcomb says he is "delighted" the state will assume control of the project. The governor has stated completion of the entire I-69 extension is a top priority of his administration.
Indiana Chamber of Commerce Chief Executive Officer Kevin Brinegar released the following statement after the settlement was reached:
It’s the absolute right thing for the state to do to ensure that this segment and the entire project is completed as quickly as possible. We must stay on course, because the ramifications are too important. When fully finished, the new I-69 – from Evansville to Fort Wayne – will help further Indiana’s position as the Crossroads of America. It will provide many more Hoosiers with better road access, leading to reduced travel time. And that also is very attractive for businesses, making Indiana an even more viable hub for companies and new jobs.