Local dignitaries this morning pitched dirt with ceremonial gold shovels to signal the beginning of construction for the final ‘new terrain’ leg of I-69. Officials from the Indiana Department of Transportation broke ground on the section of Interstate 69 that will connect Naval Support Activity-Crane with Monroe County just south of Bloomington.
According to INDOT Spokesperson Cher Elliot, two contracts for section four construction have been given out so far, with the rest going out for bid later this year.
State Representative Matt Ubelhor, who represents parts of Greene and Monroe Counties, says the new road will bring jobs to the area.
“We need to capitalize on jobs and growth,” he says. “There’s several companies out there that would like to come out of different areas and look for a place that they can consolidate their business, and I want it to be Indiana.”
Ubelhor says he feels for those who are losing land to the highway, but says the road will be better for the area as a whole.
INDOT estimates the cost for section four at $400 million. The costs for sections one through three are coming in at just under $500 million, Elliot says. INDOT contributes the increased cost of section four on the ‘unique topography’ of south-central Indiana.