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Gov. Holcomb announces $475 million in road work, including new highway

Published: Jun. 11, 2021 at 6:13 AM CDT
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EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb made a stop in the Evansville area on Friday.

He spoke at a sold-out lunch and discussion with the Evansville Regional Economic Partnership.

At the event, Gov. Holcomb made three major road work announcements totaling $475 million.

  • Design and construction of significant improvements to U.S. 231 in Dubois and Martin counties, between Interstates 64 and 69. Roadwork will begin as soon as 2022.
  • Extending State Road 101 from U.S. 50 to the Ohio River in Switzerland, Ohio and Dearborn counties.
  • Construction of Indiana’s approach to the I-69 Ohio River Crossing near Evansville, starting in 2024.

“Indiana’s location and extensive transportation network make our state one of the most attractive places in the country to do business and create jobs,” Gov. Holcomb said. “These projects will better connect our communities, enhance commerce within and beyond our borders and deliver value for Hoosiers for generations to come.”

The state will invest $75 million for design and construction of added travel lanes, passing lanes and intersection improvements at strategic locations on U.S. 231. He says the improvements will significantly reduce congestion in the Jasper and Huntingburg areas and improve safety and mobility throughout the approximately 48-mile corridor from I-64 near Dale to I-69 near Crane. Construction is anticipated to begin by late 2022.

”It was a necessary improvement for many, many years,” Jasper Mayor Dean Vonderheide said. “And I think the $75 million investment that the governor and the state of Indiana is making now in Dubois County and 231 is quite a statement that they recognize how important we are to the regional economy.”

The governor says INDOT will begin development of an approximately $200 million extension of State Road 101 to connect with the existing portion of the highway at U.S. 50 near Milan and at the Ohio River crossing via Markland Dam near Vevay. The 25-mile new highway extension will provide a direct connection for Dearborn, Ohio and Switzerland County communities to both I-71 and I-74 and offer a new cross-river route for freight traffic through Southeast Indiana. Initial planning for the project will begin within the next year.

Since 2016, Indiana and Kentucky have worked together on developing the I-69 Ohio River Crossing near Evansville. INDOT will begin designing the Indiana approach to the Ohio River which includes an interchange with the existing I-69 and Veterans Memorial Parkway and an approximately 1.5-mile new-terrain portion of I-69 approaching the Ohio River, an investment of $200 million. As both states design and build respective approach portions of the project, INDOT and the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet will continue to partner on development of the bridge portion of the project. Once fully connected, I-69 will be a continuous interstate from the U.S.-Canada border near Port Huron, Michigan to the Kentucky-Tennessee state line.

You can watch the event here:

On top of the infrastructure projects, the Governor also announced $500 million through the Ready Grant that will be allocated around the state for different projects.

”We’re scheduled at the end of this year in December to start, not just reviewing them but actually making some investment decisions,” Gov. Holcomb said. “But that $500 million, up to $50 million to different regions, simultaneously - statewide that’s going to address things like workforce development initiatives, housing, brick and molder for sure, cultural amenities - how we can improve the quality of place and therefore the quality of life of Hoosiers.”

Mayor Lloyd Winnecke was asked whether Evansville ended up receiving money from the Ready Grant, as well as if there were any projects in mind the city would use it for.

The mayor says city officials are not ready to make those decisions yet, but they’re expecting a very competitive application process.

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