Interstate 69 News and Updates

This page contains links to articles related to progress on the I-69 extension from Indianapolis to the Texas/Mexican border.

Michigan

Indiana

  • Construction Begins on First I-69 Segment in Southern Indiana (July 16, 2008): Governor Mitch Daniels was the keynote speaker at today's groundbreaking ceremony for a 2-mile (3.2 km) section of I-69. The segment starts at the I-64/I-164/SR-57 interchange north of Evansville, and parallels SR-57 to SR-68. The Indiana Department of Transportation hopes to have this section of I-69 open to traffic by June 2010.
  • Indiana Unseals Bids on First I-69 Contract (February 10, 2008): The Indiana Department of Transportation issued preliminary bid results on the first I-69 construction contract in SIU 3 on February 6, 2008. The contract calls for the clearing of the I-69 right-of-way from the I-64/I-164/SR-57 interchange to a point 1.77 miles north of that junction. It includes the removal of buildings, structures and vegetation in preparation for construction. Work under this contract is scheduled to be completed by May 31, 2008.1
  • First Section of I-69 in Indiana Approved (December 20, 2007): On December 12, 2007, the day after a federal judge threw out a lawsuit challenging the I-69 routing through southwest Indiana, the Federal Highway Administration issued a Record of Decision approving construction of a 13-mile section from the I-64/I-164 interchange to State Road 64 near Oakland City. The Record of Decision is the final federal approval for this section of highway, paving the way for construction to begin in 2008. The Indiana Department of Transportation is scheduled to advertise the first I-69 construction contracts for bids in February 2008.
  • Court Upholds Indiana I-69 Routing (December 12, 2007): A federal judge cleared the way for construction to begin on the Interstate 69 extension through southwest Indiana. On October 3, 2006 environmental groups and six citizens filed a lawsuit to block the highway's construction, alleging that state and federal highway officials "rigged" the environmental studies leading to the selection of a direct "new-terrain" between Indianapolis and Evansville. U.S. District Judge David Hamilton denied the plaintiffs' request for an injunction to halt construction, stating that "…the Indiana Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration did not violate federal law in selecting Alternative 3C…" A copy of Judge Hamilton's 58-page ruling can be viewed here.

Kentucky

  • Federal Legislation Designates Parkways as I-69 (June 6, 2008): President George W. Bush signed H.R. 1195 (SAFETEA-LU Technical Corrections Act of 2008) which defines the exact routing of I-69 through most of Kentucky. Under the legislation, the following highways are now designated as I-69"
    • Edward T. Breathitt (Pennyrile) Parkway - From Henderson to the Western Kentucky Parkway
    • Western Kentucky Parkway from the Breathitt Parkway to Interstate 24 in Eddyville
    • Interstate 24 from Eddyville to the Julian M. Carroll (Purchase) Parkway in Calvert City
    • Julian M. Carroll (Purchase Parkway) from Interstate 24 to the Tennessee state line

Although the I-69 route is written into law, Kentucky is not yet authorized to sign the route as such. Portions of the parkways, while existent as freeways without interruptions, do not meet interstate highway standards. Without a waiver from the Federal Highway Administration to allow the substandard freeways to be signed as I-69, Kentucky would have to spend about $400 million (approximately $3 million per mile of parkway) to upgrade to interstate standards. Additionally, the Kentucky's portion of I-69 does not yet connect to sections in Indiana and Tennessee, although both states are actively pushing forward to complete their respective sections of highway.

Tennessee

  • Groundbreaking Planned for I-69 Section in Obion County (April 7, 2009): Officials in Obion County announce that the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) tentatively plans to break ground on a 4-mile (6.4 km) section of I-69 northwest of Union City in August.2 The section from TN-5 to TN-21 will be the first phase of constructing SIU 7, which runs from the Kentucky state line at Fulton southwest to I-155/US-51 at Dyersburg. US-51 north of Union City and between Troy and Dyersburg exists as a freeway, and construction will focus on bypassing the 15 mile (24 km) non-freeway section of US-51 between Troy and Union city to complete SIU-7.
  • Stimulus Funds Allocated to Complete I-269 Work: (March 30, 2009): TDOT officials announced the agency will begin construction on final two sections of the TN-385 Loop (Future I-269) between TN-193 in Macon and TN-57 at Piperton totaling 7.3 miles (11.7 km) after receiving $60 million through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, signed by President Barack Obama on February 17th. Construction on I-269 from TN-385 at Collierville to the Mississippi state line is scheduled to begin next year.3
  • Interstate 69 Extended Northward Through Memphis (January 18, 2008): The Federal Highway Administration has authorized Tennessee and Mississippi to install I-69 signs on highways in the Memphis area. The Record of Decision for SIU 9 called for I-69 to:
    • Follow I-55 from the I-55/I-69/MS-304 interchange in Hernando, Mississippi to the I-55/I-240 interchange south of Memphis
    • Follow I-240 from I-55 to I-40 in Memphis
    • Follow I-40 from I-240 to TN-300 in Memphis
    • Use the TN-300 spur, then turn northeast, paralleling US-51 to Future I-269/TN-385 in Millington

A letter from the FHWA to TDOT and MDOT authorized both states to sign I-69 from the I-40/TN-300 interchange in Memphis to the I-55/I-69/MS-304 interchange in Hernando, Mississippi.

Mississippi

Arkansas

Louisiana

Texas

  • TxDOT Cancels I-69/TTC—Will Route I-69 Over Existing Roads (June 10, 2008): Responsing to widespread opposition from environmental groups and property rights activists, the Texas Department of Transportation has abandoned study of the proposed 1200-foot wide I-69 Trans-Texas Corridor, and will instead build I-69 as a conventional interstate freeway by upgrading existing 2-lane and 4-lane highways through eastern Texas.
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