Stretch of I-69 Opens Today

The Evansville Courier Press has an editorial noting with approval that a new stretch of I-69 opens today from Evansville to Crane — about 20 miles short of Bloomington.

There are a number of reasons to be critical about this development: the stretch from Bloomington to Indianapolis won’t be financed soon, if ever; what has been built was financed by selling off the Toll Road in Northern Indiana for the next 7 decades; by not using existing roads, the route has an unnecessary environmental impact. Interstates generally have led to decline of towns around other highways, have represented a policy choice to subsidize automobile travel over other kinds of transportation, and have often been developed in a way that is unmindful of the communities through which they pass.

Still, this seems like something of a big deal. Evansville is right that it’s cut off from the rest of Indiana. I, for one, have never been there because, without business taking me directly to the city, travel doesn’t take me past the city. Also, whereas once we as a country were prodigious road builders, now we seem to struggle just to maintain the ones we have. It’s nice to see us actually building something from time to time.

Comments

  1. says

    In 20 years when that stretch of I-69 resembles the Sagamore Parkway of today and it remains unconnected to Indianapolis, we’ll all be cursing the current governor for failing to go back in time three decades to stop Mitch Daniels from shorting the future in favor of quick cash.

  2. Knowledge is Power says

    just wait until Purdue Univ. is leased/sold off, piece by piece, for a one time payment, because Mitch said so.

    How much do I hear for Mackey Arena? the Pharmacy School?

  3. Don Sherfick says

    Can somebody provide information on the state of current roads (two lane?) that will have to do for a while (maybe a LONG while) to connect traffic from the Crane I-69 termination to SR 37?

    • John M says

      I believe that there is funding for the connection from Crane to Bloomington and that the road is to be complete by 2014. So I believe the worst case scenario is interstate from Evansville to Bloomington and four lane non-interstate from Bloomington to Indy for the indefinite future.

  4. says

    As someone who has traveled extensively in SW Indiana, they needed that interestate desperately down there. Many of the roads in that area are narrow highways which have heavy semi-trailer traffic. It’s very, very dangerous to drive on many of those roads down there. The whole option of an upgraded I-70, U.S. 41, was never a realistic option as a route to Eville and would have done nothing for all those other communities that need an interestate in SW Indiana. As far as interstates cutting off growth, the fact is most of those communities down there haven’t grown a bit in 100 years without an interstate.

  5. says

    Don, it looks like after I-69 ends, you can take State Road 45 over to Bloomington to State Road 37.

    However, if you don’t have a reason to go to Bloomington, I’d suggest leaving Crane then shooting up US 231 then picking up State Road 67 which eventually becomes a four lane road.

  6. T says

    I don’t know why it would be a goal for communities that are located in the middle of nowhere to grow. There’s no shortage of communities within a few miles of interstates that haven’t grown in 100 years, either. Near my hometown of Richmond, we have Dublin, Denreith, East Germantown (or Pershing), Straughn, etc. I suppose I-69 might help Elnora grow a bit, but it seems like a lot of money and work to make that happen. I can see where Evansville will get a needed boost. But building roads to spur growth in nowhereville seems like a waste.

  7. Stuart Swenson says

    Getting older is optional but growth is not. Some communities seem to think that I-69 will dump money on them when their histories show that they have never taken advantage of any opportunities. For some, opportunity is only an interference that threatens them with change. For them, the problem is how to get lots of money without changing attitudes toward change. I-69 should be a big disappointment for them.

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