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I-69 Section 5 Delayed Again, State Trying To Take Control

I-69 Section 5

Photo: Barbara Brosher

I-69 Section 5 is nearly two years behind schedule.

The state is trying to take control of I-69 Section 5 construction after repeated delays and issues with financing of the project.

The Indiana Finance Authority says in a statement it anticipates construction of the stretch of interstate from Bloomington to Martinsville will now be complete by August 31, 2018, nearly two years behind schedule.

Section 5 is being built through a public-private partnership between the state and I-69 Development Partners. According to an IFA analysis, there’s only $72 million in funding available for the more than $236 million needed to complete Section 5. The IFA says it’s offering to buy out the bonds and take the project over, but the bond holders haven’t accepted the offer.

“At this time, the state is moving forward with the goal of assuming control of the project,” IFA Public Finance Director Dan Huge said in a statement.

The IFA says if the state takes the project over, the expense won’t exceed what it would have paid under the original public-private partnership. But, it’s unclear how the remainder of the project would be funded and whether tax payers would foot any of the bill. The IFA says that won’t be determined until negotiations with bond holders conclude.

The city of Bloomington sent out a press release in January saying the developer’s parent company, Isolux Corsan, indicated it would not be able to complete the project until August 2018. But, the IFA said at the time the city’s information was incorrect.

The project was supposed to be complete by October 2016, but the developer announced its first delay in April of last year. Several issues with construction followed, including a pay dispute that caused at least one subcontractor to walk off the job. Several local politicians called on the state to take over control of Section 5 construction following the dispute, but the IFA said at the time those requests were premature.

Most recently, Fitch Ratings downgraded the private activity bonds being used to fund the project in April, saying it’s unclear where money will come from to complete construction.

Despite the overall delays with construction, the IFA says there will be four lanes of traffic open through the greater Bloomington area in August of this year.

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  • lastcamp2

    But wait! We were told that private enterprise always trumps government. But hasn’t this public/private project failed a couple of times? Like the toll road?
    Is this a bail out? How much is this costing the public? Including loss of use of the road for a couple of years?
    Why isn’t there a great outcry?

  • 141cee1212

    The magnitude of the build should have projected a more realistic time-line for completion years ago. However, there is a lot getting done, and there has not been a “loss of use of the road” yet. It is amazing to me that the road remains open to traffic every day in spite of the construction. I state again: There is no estimate of when the next leg (6) will be completed and the total cost of the project(s). This inconvenience is going to be around for several years beyond 2018. My hope is that the finished product is worth the cost and trouble to build it.

    My questions concern the response of local government agencies. When will the completion of West 17th (Cresent Road where it is to join Vernal Pike) be completed and how long before the completion of Kinser Pike/Bottom Road.
    Are there plans to improve the quality of roadway on Bottom Road and Old 37 North?

  • kickbassperson

    So the Indiana “branch” of Isolux Corsan (i-69 Development Partners) is short around $160 million and the parent company is looking like it’s going bankrupt? Who thought this was a good idea?

    Bringing in a foreign, for-profit entity to finance infrastructure that is 100% Hoosier is a poorly thought out means Pence/the IN state government to not to budget for Section 5 or float bonds to pay for it is (easy to say now!!) a really stupid idea that will end up costing millions.

  • kickbassperson

    This project has been a train wreck and has taken at least twice as long as it should have. Pence et al hired a company on the verge of bankruptcy….and now it’s looking like they’re going bankrupt.

  • kickbassperson

    Maybe it has to do with the private company (which is a foreign company BTW) hiding behind the fake, home-grown sounding I-69 Development Partners when it’s really Isolux Corsan.

  • Dialogos68

    And to think that this is a state with blue laws from the 1920s still on the books…. Useless state politicians!

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