INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - A section of the Interstate 69 extension from just south
of Bloomington to Martinsville is moving forward after Indiana received
approval to use federal funds for the stretch, a state highway spokesman
The Federal Highway Administration approval granted on Friday will allow
funds from the federal agency to be used to complete the design and acquire
land for the approximately 21-mile Section 5, Indiana Department of
Transportation spokesman Will Wingfield said.
The section will upgrade the current Indiana 37 - a four-lane, divided
highway - to interstate standards. Land must be acquired for the seven
interchanges and five overpasses in the section, Wingfield said.
Under an initiative announced by Gov. Mike Pence in May, a team of
contractors selected to design and build the upgrade will sign a
public-private deal under which it will arrange its own financing. Indiana
would make payments for 35 years after its completion as the team maintains
and operates the stretch. It will not be a toll road.
INDOT expects to select the winning team from among four candidates next
February, with construction beginning months later, Wingfield said.
The contractors for the extensionís first 94 miles from Evansville to south
of Bloomington received state funding for their work.
The first three sections opened for traffic in November. Construction is
continuing on the 27-mile Section 4 between Crane and Bloomington, which is
expected to open to traffic in phases during late 2014 and early 2015.
When complete, the extension will stretch 142 miles from Evansville to