Via INDOT Press Release:

EVANSVILLE, Ind. – Governor Mitch Daniels said today construction of Interstate 69 is ahead of schedule and on-budget and should be open to traffic from Evansville to Bloomington by the end of 2014.

Construction of Sections 1 to 3 from Evansville to Crane will be completed by the end of 2012, a three-year acceleration from the previous target of 2015. On Section 4, from Crane to Bloomington, previous plans estimated construction would not even begin until sometime between 2016 and 2020.

“The completion of the I-69 dream is nearer than anyone ever imagined. Completion to Bloomington will be years ahead of what anyone originally thought could be accomplished. Having this asset in place sooner means more jobs in Indiana, corner to corner,” said Daniels, who made the announcement along the first completed stretch of I-69 pavement near Evansville.

Estimates that I-69 could be built from Evansville to Crane for about $700 million are on target because bids have come in lower than expected and INDOT has used innovative techniques to design and build the road. For example, INDOT has been completing work concurrently instead of consecutively to improve speed and contracts are bid with alternate and option pavement designs for increased price competition.

“INDOT is working smarter and faster, and now, when most states are too broke to build anything, is a great time to be in high gear. We”re getting ”cost underruns” that are keeping I-69 well within budget,” said Daniels.

The governor also announced:

  • The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has issued final approval of environmental studies for I-69 Section 2, from Oakland City to Washington, and Section 3, from Washington to Crane. INDOT has secured all of the approvals needed to move ahead with highway design and land acquisition activities, and begin construction.
  • INDOT has awarded contracts for six miles of I-69 in Daviess County. The bid was 30 percent under estimates. Other contract bids have had similar results, and all have been awarded to Indiana companies.
  • Within the next 45 days, the Indiana Department of Transportation expects to publish the Draft Environmental Impact Statement for I-69 between Crane and Bloomington. Construction could start as early as summer 2011, with all 27 miles underway by the end of 2012.
  • Over the next seven months the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) plans to bid nine contracts, forming a combined construction zone that will measure roughly 400 feet wide by 65 miles long, and stretch across Gibson, Pike, Daviess and Greene counties. Four of the contracts will combine highway design and construction to condense the overall delivery timeline. 

“As construction hits full gear in 2011, I-69 will form the longest contiguous new interstate construction project in the country,” Daniels said.

INDOT opened the first two miles of I-69 in September and construction in the area continues.