Starting today, you can drive 69 - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

Barricades are down, I-69 open for traffic

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Officials opened I-69 around 4:00 p.m. Monday afternoon. Officials opened I-69 around 4:00 p.m. Monday afternoon.
Several people gathered on I-69 waiting for the ribbon cutting. Several people gathered on I-69 waiting for the ribbon cutting.

The barricades have officially come down and I-69 is now open to traffic. 

Governor Mitch Daniels joined federal, state and local leaders to cut the ribbon on I-69 on Monday. 

"Today is for the believers," Governor Daniels said.

Many describe the opening of Interstate 69 as historic, but before cutting the ribbon, Governor Daniels started off by thanking the 'workers in the yellow and orange.'

"I want you to just thank our INDOT workers who just built the road we've dreamed of for so long," Governor Daniels.

"Open for Business" is the phrase being used to describe the opening of these first three sections of I-69.

"This is going to connect the third largest city in Indiana to the state capital and also the large state university, Indiana University," Congressman Larry Buschon said.

Officials say I-69 will also provide a safer route to and from those cities.

"A lot of lives have been lost. A lot of heartache has been caused because of the absence of this road," Governor Daniels said.

"Think about the safety issues involved and driving on an interstate rather than curvy, country roads," Congressman Buschon said.

Something else to think about is how this will impact your navigation systems.
INDOT says they've been working with the GPS industry to make sure they have the latest updates about this corridor opening.

"Many of the search engines, if you look through the photos and aerials, you can already see where I-69 is appearing," INDOT's Cher Elliott said.

So what can people expect when they get on I-69 for the first time?

"They can expect a first class, no stop trip," Governor Daniels said.

It's estimated that no stop trip will cut 38 minutes off the travel time from Evansville to Indianapolis.

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