Kentucky broke ground Wednesday on the I-69 Ohio River Crossing project in Henderson. The bistate project between Kentucky and Indiana will connect I-69 in Evansville to U.S. Highway 60 in Henderson with a new river crossing and several interchanges.
Wednesday’s event marked the beginning of Section 1 of the project, which focuses on improvements in Henderson and extending Kentucky Highway 425 to U.S. Highway 60. It also includes an extension of over six miles of I-69, new interchanges with U.S. Highway 41 and U.S. 60, and reconstruction of the Kentucky Highway 351 interchange. Construction will continue through 2025.
The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) will oversee Section 1 work. Transportation Secretary Jim Gray called the project “critical” for connecting western Kentucky cities to the rest of the nation.
Section 2 of the project involves completing the I-69 connection from U.S. Highway 60 in Henderson to I-69 in Evansville. The Indiana Department of Transportation will oversee that section. Design work should begin in 2025, with construction occurring from 2024 through 2027. When complete, the project will extend I-69 by more than six miles and include interchanges with Kentucky Highway 351, U.S. 41, and U.S. 60.
Henderson Mayor and KLC Board Member Steve Austin and Evansville Mayor Lloyd Winnecke participated in Wednesday’s groundbreaking. Austin stressed the positive impact the project would have on his city. “The commerce that is going to follow this project and the economic development is going to be extremely valuable for our community for the next 50 years,” he said.
Additionally, Austin noted the new road would help ease congestion on U.S. Highway 41, which takes drivers from Henderson across the river to Evansville. “We’ll have a safer way for our citizens to cross the Ohio River, a faster way to move goods, and a better connection for our communities.”
Once completed, the $1.5 billion project will provide a new four-lane bridge, 8.4 miles of new interstate, and 2.8 miles of U.S. Highway 41 upgrades.