EVANSVILLE, IN (WFIE) - A major development was announced Friday about the Interstate 69 Ohio River Crossing project.
As we first reported, The Indiana Department of Transportation and Kentucky Transportation Cabinet have chosen the Central Alternative as the preferred route for the I-69 Ohio River Crossing. The Draft Environmental Impact Statement has also been released.
That study is required for federal funding.
Janelle Lemon, INDOT Project Manager for I-69 ORX said, “The purpose of this project is that I-69 connection. It’s the final connection that Indiana needs to make in Kentucky.”
Part of the plans will include removing the southbound twin bridge.
Dan Prevost is the Environmental Lead for I-69 ORX. He said, “By removing one of those U.S. 41 bridges from service, we save $145 million dollars in long term maintenance costs for the states.”
Officials explained what the new I-69 crossing will entail. One of the biggest differences in the two plans is tolls. Prevost said, “Anytime you talk about a project that involves tolls you have the potential in particular to impact low income populations.”
It’s been determined that if both bridges are tolled it would have a substantial impact to the low income population so plans are in the work to fix that issue.
The new bridge will cross the Ohio River between Audubon State Park and Green River State Park.
After lots of studies, the states found this will have the least impact on homes and businesses. Lemon said, “There are going to be properties impacted we don’t want to make light of that. It’s not that there aren’t impacts to properties because it’s a flood plane there, so there will be impacts but it’s new terrain out on it’s own.”
There will now be a formal comment period and public hearings on both sides of the river. The period lasts through February 8, 2019.
Officials say construction could begin as late as 2021 and be finished by 2025. The project cost is about $1.5 Billion dollars.