(INDIANAPOLIS) -- Governor Mitch Daniels and the Indiana Department of Transportation announced Friday that the first three sections of the new Interstate 69 corridor in southwest Indiana will officially open for business before the Thanksgiving travel holiday on the afternoon of Monday, Nov. 19.
The highly anticipated grand opening will cover a 67-mile stretch that completes what has been the longest contiguous ongoing interstate construction project in the United States.
"Hoosiers will be glad to know that the new I-69 corridor connecting Evansville to Crane will be delivered several years ahead of schedule and nearly $80 million under budget," said Gov. Daniels. "Many people said this interstate expansion wouldn't happen in their lifetime, but it's now poised to open and the result will be greater economic opportunity, faster and safer travel, improved connectivity, easier access for leisure travel and more."
In 2006, Gov. Daniels outlined a proposal -- known as Major Moves -- that included leasing the Indiana Toll Road. Funds generated from that innovative plan allowed construction to begin on the new I-69 corridor that will ultimately stretch from Evansville to Indianapolis through Bloomington. The initial 67-mile section will connect communities from just northeast of Evansville at I-64 to the US 231 interchange near the Naval Support Activity at Crane.
"The opening of the new I-69 extension is a real game changer and it will benefit our state's economy by making Indiana a more viable hub for commerce through enhanced transportation capabilities," said Kevin Brinegar, president and CEO of the Indiana Chamber. "Communities along the corridor will see long-desired benefits from increased business investment."
Samuel Sarvis, INDOT's Deputy Commissioner for Major Programs added,
"The new I-69 corridor will deliver significantly reduced travel times and we look forward to sharing more information about that key benefit at the grand opening. It is also important to note that work continues on Section 4 that will connect I-69 from the US 231 interchange to State Road 37 south of Bloomington by the end of 2014."
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