Environmental impact study in progress from Henderson to Evansville (Ohio River bridge and Henderson bypass) ( FR Notice). The draft EIS was issued February 11, 2004.
I-164 from just east of downtown Evansville to I-64 is planned to be incorporated into the final route.
From Henderson, a new section of freeway will be built, along with a new bridge over the Ohio River into Indiana, to connect to I-64 north of Evansville.
Originally, ten corridors linking the Edward H. Breathitt Pennyrile Parkway south of Henderson and I-64 north of Evansville were studied. Six corridors (A-E, J) would be west of Evansville, one corridor (F) would go through Evansville along existing U.S. 41, and three (G-I) would pass east of Evansville, making use of part or all of existing I-164. In addition to these corridors, four corridors include a potential connector to U.S. 41 near I-64 (see the level 1 corridors map [PNG; 171k]).
In September 2002, the ten corridors were narrowed to three final corridors (map [PDF; 368k]). Corridor 1, west of Evansville, would follow preliminary corridor J, meeting I-64 just east of Poseyville, with an alternative 1a [former J1] connecting to I-64 at U.S. 41. Corridors 2 (preliminary corridor H) and 3 (preliminary corridor I) would travel east of Evansville, making use of much of existing I-164.
Corridor 2 would be the least expensive, estimated at $580 million, while Corridor 1 would be the most expensive at $959 million and Corridor 3 would cost approximately $685 million.
Henderson officials generally favor an eastside route, which would pass closer to downtown Henderson, while Evansville officials generally support a westside route to improve access to western Vanderburgh County and the University of Southern Indiana. An eastern route using parts of I-164 would almost certainly be far less expensive than either reconstructing U.S. 41 or a new route to the west of Evansville. State transportation officials have indicated that funding for a complete loop (including new Ohio River bridges east and west of Evansville) is unlikely in the short to medium term; however, any final I-69 route will accomodate construction of a complete loop in the future.
The local metropolitan planning organization's long-range plan endorses a route for I-69 roughly along alignment H to the east of Henderson; the route would meet I-164 a couple of miles east of the I-164/U.S. 41 interchange and tie into the Breathitt (Pennyrile) Parkway at the KY 425 interchange.
In early February 2004, the states of Kentucky and Indiana announced the preferred alternative for I-69 between I-64 and the Breathitt Parkway, a refined version of Corridor 2. Public hearings will be held in mid-March to solicit public comment on the decision.
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