Locals asked to vote on I-69 bridge location

Survey includes three routes in Henderson

The Greater Owensboro Chamber of Commerce is encouraging people in Daviess County to vote on which of the three proposed routes for the I-69 bridge between Henderson and Evansville should be selected.

“We don’t have a preference,” Candance Brake, chamber president, said this week. “But it’s important for people in Daviess County to weigh in on this. Henderson is very much in support of the central route. The two other routes would take out a lot of homes.”

The online survey can be found at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/I69ORX.

They deadline for filling out the questionnaire, which includes questions about whether people support a toll bridge, is March 16.

Each choice offers six lanes of traffic, with at least four of them on the new bridge.

The two western choices are close to U.S. 41. The so-called central choice is a little farther east.

The central route involves a new four-lane bridge that would be built east of Ellis Park. One of the current “Twin Bridges” would remain in use with two-way traffic.

This choice bypasses the U.S. 41 strip in Henderson. That bridge and approaches would cost an estimated $1.42 billion.

West Alternative 1 includes a new four-lane bridge and keeps one U.S. 41 bridge for local traffic. It keeps traffic on U.S. 41 and keeps businesses open on the strip. The cost of that choice is estimated at $1.47 billion.

West Alternative 2 involves a new six-lane bridge and removes both of the twin bridges. Businesses on the west sides of the strip would be impacted. Cost of that choice is $1.49 billion.

The preferred route will be selected this year, and the Draft Environmental Impact Statement is scheduled to be published by this fall.

The final environmental impact statement and record of decision are expected to be completed by the fall of 2019.

Then Kentucky and Indiana — and hopefully, the federal government — will appropriate the money to begin design, land purchases and construction of the bridge.

Mindy Peterson, spokeswoman for the joint project between Kentucky and Indiana’s state highway departments, said, “Under best-case scenarios, Central Corridor 1 could be open to traffic in 2025, while either West Corridor 1 or West Corridor 2 could be open in 2027, assuming that funding is identified and scheduled soon after the final environmental impact statement and record of decision” are completed.

In December 1992, Henderson County asked Daviess Fiscal Court for $1,500 to help secure I-69 from Indiana through Kentucky.

That was the beginning of the project.

The Kentucky parkways involved have been upgraded to interstate standards and are now part of I-69.

But building the bridge remains to be done to tie the Indiana and Kentucky portions of I-69 together.

By Keith Lawrence Messenger-Inquirer