PROPOSED INTERSTATE 69 CORRIDOR
Since the last major revision of the Comprehensive Plan in 2006, significant progress has been made on three of the four I-69 Sections of Independent Utility (SIU) that encompass the route’s path from Indianapolis to Evansville, through Henderson and the remainder of Western Kentucky. These four SIUs, detailed below, are a subset of thirty-two that form the entire National I-69 Corridor stretching from Canada to Mexico:
SIU #3 – Evansville, IN to Indianapolis, IN
SIU #4 – Henderson, KY to Evansville, IN
SIU #5 – Henderson, KY to Eddyville, KY
SIU #6 – Eddyville, KY to Fulton, KY ( KY/TN State Line)
SIUs 3, 5 and 6 have seen major progress over the last ten years with major portions completed, including the joining of the Pennyrile and Western KY Parkways (SIU #5) just south of Henderson to I-24 in Eddyville. However, SIU #4, the section that must cross the Ohio River and connect Henderson and Evansville, remains an uncertainty.
Figure 7.1 displays the Preferred Alternative 2 route that was the result of a January 2004 Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) prepared by the Federal Highway Administration in conjunction with the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) and the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC).
According to a SIU #4 Feasibility Study published by KYTC, although DEIS Preferred Alternative 2 is perceived as the approved route for this section, it never gained final approval because a funding source could not be identified. This study examines several alternatives to the DEIS route and suggests a more financially feasible option, Alternative 1A, is possible (Figure 7.2).
BridgeLink, an advocacy group formed in 2013 and comprised of elected officials, business leaders and chamber of commerce executives from both southwestern Indiana and northwestern Kentucky, has publicly supported Alternative 1A. BridgeLink board members have made presentations to both KYTC, INDOT, the governors of both Indiana and Kentucky, and the Henderson City-County Planning Commission, detailing the advantages of Alternative 1A. But the ultimate decision on the exact route for SIU #4 will be made after an update of the DEIS is completed in the future and KYTC, INDOT, the Federal Highway Administration and the Evansville MPO come to an agreement.
Map of the most recent proposed I-69 route (subject to change).