Work on I-69 delayed; timetable for last leg in flux

By Ap and Staff Reports

Work has again been delayed on the section of Interstate 69 set to be built before the final leg that passes through Johnson County.

The Indiana Finance Authority said in a notice to bond holders it estimates work on Section 5, which runs between Bloomington and Martinsville, will be substantially completed by Aug. 31, 2018 — three months later than previously estimated. The section has been plagued by delays since work started in 2014. It was originally scheduled for an October 2016 completion.

That section would connect with the sixth and final segment of I-69, which will eventually run from Martinsville to Indianapolis, passing through Johnson County.

The Indiana Finance Authority said it was negotiating with bond holders “to secure control of the completion of the Project by IFA and resolve outstanding issues” on Section 5. A total of $236.8 million was needed to complete the project, but only $72 million was available. That means $164.8 million is needed to “complete construction and resolve claims.”

What that would mean for the final section of I-69 that runs through Johnson County is not known.

State officials are continuing to work through the process of planning the interstate along State Road 37 and are currently doing survey work, which will allow the state to finalize the proposed route. State Road 37 was selected as the preferred route for I-69, but still needs final approval.

State officials have said that they expect a decision and the Final Environmental Impact Statement from Federal Highway Administration on the preferred route early next year.

Funding for construction of the 26 miles of interstate from Martinsville to Interstate 465 in Indianapolis hasn’t been identified, and a construction timetable has not been set.