I-69 Ohio River Crossing reaches major milestone

By Drew Roberts, Building Kentucky

The environmental study for the I-69 Ohio River Crossing (I-69 ORX) is now complete, which will allow Section 1 construction to begin.

I-69 ORX’s two construction sections

I-69 ORX Section 1 focuses on improvements in Henderson and extends from KY 425 to US 60. The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet is overseeing the Section 1 project with construction expected to begin in early 2022 and continue through 2025.

I-69 ORX Section 2 is a bistate project between Indiana and Kentucky that will complete the I-69 connection from US 60 in Henderson to I-69 in Evansville. It includes the new river crossing. Design is expected to begin in 2025 with construction anticipated to begin in 2027 and continue through 2031. Both states continue to look for opportunities to accelerate that timeline.

About the environmental study

The last steps of the environmental study were the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) and Record of Decision (ROD), required by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) for large, federally-funded projects.

The FEIS identifies Central Alternative 1B Modified as the Selected Alternative. It includes a four-lane I-69 bridge and retains one US 41 bridge for local traffic. It includes 11.2 miles of new interstate, including 8.4 miles on new terrain and 2.8 miles of upgrades to US 41. Only the I-69 bridge will be tolled. The ROD is issued by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and signifies final approval of the Selected Alternative.

The FEIS is posted on the project website (I69ohiorivercrossing.com/feis-rod).

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