Design Work On I-69 Extension May Begin Next Week

EVANSVILLE, Ind. (AP) - A state consultant says preliminary design work on the southernmost portion of the planned Interstate 69 extension from Evansville to Indianapolis might begin next week.

Kent Ahrenholtz, an engineer with Bernardin Lochmueller & Associates, told Evansville-area business and community leaders Tuesday that the state will release a number of major documents about the project over the next three to four months.

"In the first or second quarter next year, you'll actually see bulldozers out just north of I-64," Ahrenholtz said.

State officials have said that construction would start in the fall of 2008.

Kevin Jasinski, an engineer with American Structurepoint Inc., said bid documents to build the first of six sections of the Evansville-to-Indianapolis route will be ready late this year.

The first phase of the project will also include improvements to Indiana 57 and Indiana 68.

Ahrenholtz said the state is continuing to address the project's impact on the environment. Six consultants are working on environmental impact statements for each section of the planned interstate, he said.

The interstate has drawn criticism from several groups, but Ahrenholtz said I-69 planners are planning "to offset the impacts of this structure."

State lawmakers passed a budget this year that included $119 million to build the 70-mile portion of the interstate from Evansville to the Crane Warfare Center.

Information from: Evansville Courier & Press,

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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