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Bevin and Pence Initiate Study and Design of I-69 Ohio River Bridge

Bridgelink, via Facebook

Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin joined Indiana Gov. Mike Pence in Henderson Thursday to sign a memorandum of understanding initiating the study and design of a new Ohio River bridge for Interstate 69, connecting Henderson to Evansville, Ind.

The Indiana Department of Transportation is taking the lead on the bridge, in full partnership with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet. At an event streamed live by the KYTC, Gov. Pence said he expects the two states to “swiftly” complete the environmental and design work and send out requests for proposals in just a few months.

Gov. Bevin said the project has been a top priority of his administration.

“We will build this bridge," Bevin said. "It will take years, yet, and that’s important to understand. It will be some years before this really starts to take form. We know that, but this study and the expedition of this is really what is going to set this in motion. We won’t look back.”

Credit Bridgelink, via Facebook

“When I heard about it, I said, ‘Why would we not take advantage of straightening out what has the ability to be an extraordinary powerhouse, an extraordinary corridor of economic development, not only for Kentucky, but Indiana as well?'," Bevin said.

One proposal for the bridge offered by the group Bridgelink estimated it would cost $800 million in 2019 dollars. A previous estimate for the bridge had been $1.4 billion. Bridgelink is made up of elected officials from both Kentucky and Indiana.

Pence said the bridge will be referred to as the Ohio River Crossing during the initial phases of work.

The KYTC awarded a pair of contracts earlier this year for I-69 corridor work in Graves and Marshall counties, while the Tennessee Department of Transportation held a groundbreaking ceremony earlier this month for I-69 work in Obion County.

When complete, I-69 will stretch from the U.S.-Canadian border in Michigan to Brownsville, Texas. 

John Null is the host and creator of Left of the Dial. From 2013-2016, he also served as a reporter in the WKMS newsroom.
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