Hoosiers will get a chance to learn more about the proposed Interstate 69 Ohio River Crossing that would connect Evansville to Henderson, Kentucky during a public meeting tonight.
Both states are reinitiating a study of the I-69 corridor that could take up to three years. Indiana and Kentucky previously tried to move forward with the project, but their efforts stalled when they couldn’t secure enough funding.
Last year, then-governor Mike Pence entered into an agreement with Kentucky, saying the project is a priority for both states.
A bridge advocacy group called BridgeLink estimates the overall cost of the bridge at $850 million. Indiana and Kentucky would split the costs, with INDOT serving as the lead agency on the project.
I-69 Ohio River Crossing Spokesperson Mindy Peterson says all funding options are on the table.
“It’s very early in the process, but tolling is going to be part of the conversation,” Peterson says. “We know in 2004 when the conversations stalled, that was because they couldn’t identify funding solutions. We don’t want to stall out this time.”
Residents will get a closer look at five broad alternatives being considered for the bridge during the public hearing in Evansville. Peterson says their input will play a large role in determining the final path of the bridge.
“We’ll actually have maps tonight where they can draw lines on a map and say, ‘Have you looked at this? Is this is a possibility? What if you went a little bit east or a little bit west?’” Peterson says. “So, it’s going to be a very interactive process.”
The project includes studying the long-term viability of two existing bridges on U.S. 41, which are known as the Twin Bridges.
A preferred route for the bridge is expected to be identified by fall of next year, with a final decision expected in fall 2019.