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News Item #672
[I-69]
Preferred Alternative Identified for I-69 Corridor Linking Henderson and Evansville
Posted: 11-Feb-2004 4:18PM CST

From Kentucky Transportation Cabinet: Preferred Alternative Identified for I-69 Corridor Linking Henderson and Evansville (Feb. 11, 2004) [Outside Link]:

EVANSVILLE-- Maxwell Clay Bailey, Secretary of the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, and J. Bryan Nicol, Commissioner of the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT), jointly announced today that the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for the I-69 extension between Henderson, Kentucky and Evansville, Indiana has been approved by the Federal Highway Administration. “This I-69 corridor will provide an important connection between Kentucky and Indiana,” said Secretary Bailey. “This vital transportation link will mean improved mobility, safer travel and expanded economic opportunities for our states and for the nation.”
The study consists of evaluating the potential of constructing a new interstate highway between the cities of Henderson and Evansville, as well as the potential for a new Ohio River Bridge between the two cities. Although four alternatives were evaluated in detail, the DEIS identifies one of two eastern alternatives, Alternative 2, as the preferred alternative. Alternative 2 will utilize more than 18 miles of existing I-164 before entering new alignment just east of the Green River Road interchange in Evansville. The Alternative will then travel south on new alignment across a new Ohio River bridge crossing where it will connect to the Breathitt Parkway in Henderson, KY. The total length of Alternative 2 is approximately 30.2 miles and is estimated to cost approximately $652 million to construct.
Two alternatives (Alternatives 1 and 1A) west of Evansville were evaluated but are not considered preferred alternatives because of several factors, including impacts to numerous historic properties and construction cost. The construction cost of each of the western alternatives is approximately $1 billion. A second eastern alternative was also evaluated. Although this alternative, Alternative 3, utilizes approximately 17.2 miles of existing I-164, it travels just east of Angel Mounds State Historic Site, a National Landmark. Alternative 3 would travel south on I-164 and begin new alignment near the I-164/SR 662 interchange. Alternative 3 was not identified as a preferred alternative because of several factors, including impacts to the National Landmark and a high number of residential relocations at I-164/SR662.
Commissioner Nicol said, “This project reinforces the basic purpose and need of constructing and extending a new Interstate 69 that will eventually link us with Canada and Mexico-two of our largest trading partners.”
“The partnership on this project between Indiana and Kentucky has been phenomenal,” added Secretary Bailey. “INDOT, KYTC, the Evansville Urban Transportation Study (EUTS) and the Divisions of the Federal Highway Administration from both Indiana and Kentucky all agree that Alternative 2 is the preferred Alternative based on the initial investigations.” Public hearings to take comments on the DEIS will be at the Henderson High School gymnasium on March 16 and at Reitz High School in Evansville on March 17. Doors will open at 5 p.m. with formal presentations beginning at 6 p.m. for both hearings. Public comments will be accepted until Monday, April 19, 2004.
Comments can be sent to Mr. Tim Miller, HNTB Corporation, 111 Monument Circle, Suite 1200, Indianapolis, Indiana, 46204, or by visiting the project Web site www.i69in-ky.com [Outside Link]. Comments on the draft report will be considered before a Final Environmental Impact Statement is published within a year.
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More information: The (Henderson) Gleaner: 'Major announcement' on I-69 today (Feb. 11, 2004) [Outside Link], Indianapolis Star: Path chosen for I-69 leg skirting Evansville (Feb. 11, 2004) [Outside Link]

Update (Feb. 13, 2004): Business First of Louisville: Kentucky, Indiana announce initial approval for I-69 project (Feb. 11, 2004) [Outside Link], Kentucky Transportation Cabinet: Legal Notice of Public Meeting (Feb. 11, 2004) [Outside Link], Evansville Courier & Press: Henderson residents on I-69 route not happy, but resigned (Feb. 12, 2004) [Outside Link], Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer: Interstate 69 eastern route is endorsed (Feb. 12, 2004) [Outside Link]

Two meeting have been scheduled to discuss the preferred alignment: March 16, 2004 from 5 PM to 9 PM at Henderson County High School Gym and March 17, 2004 from 5 PM to 9 PM at Reitz High School Cafeteria

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Updated: 11-Feb-2004 4:18PM CST

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