Indiana Department of Transportation officials will open parts of I-69 on Nov. 19 in preparation for Thanksgiving traffic.
The 67-mile stretch from Evansville to the Crane naval base will be open if the state can complete construction in time. INDOT spokesperson Will Wingfield says a lot still needs to happen between now and then.
“There’s still some work to complete the shoulders with either pavement or crushed stone,” he says. “There is a 4,400 foot bridge as part of our environmental commitments over the flood plane at the Patoka River wildlife refuge, and they’re still completing some pavement and railing work on that as well.”
INDOT also faces legal obstacles over the construction of I-69. President of Citizens for Appropriate Rural Roads Tom Tokarski, says despite the fact most of the first few sections are built, his group has filed a lawsuit opposing them.
“The US Army Corps of Engineers has violated the Clean Water Act and we are filing a lawsuit on that on Section 2,” he says. “According to the Clean Water Act, they have to look at other alternatives beside the one that INDOT picked and just rubber stamping what INDOT says.”
Officials will christen the Interstate with celebrations across the 67 miles of new Interstate on Nov. 19, before opening the road to commuters.