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.