Kentucky and Indiana are jointly applying for a $632.3 million federal grant for the Interstate 69 Ohio River Crossing project.
The Indiana Department of Transportation and Kentucky Transportation Cabinet applied for funding through the Multimodal Discretionary Grant Program, which was created as part of the 2021 Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. The project is situated at Henderson, Ky., and Evansville, Ind.
The two states propose to put up $513.7 million from other funding sources if the grant is approved. The states already have obligated $265 million toward environmental studies and construction of the first section of the project in Henderson.
The Interstate 69 Ohio River Crossing project has three sections:
- Section 1: The Kentucky approach, which will extend I-69 in Kentucky by 6 miles, from where it currently ends at its intersection with the Henderson Bypass (KY 425) to the Ohio River. Section 1 has three new or rebuilt interchanges, nine new land bridges and seven rehabilitated bridges. Gov. Beshear broke ground for Section 1 in June 2022.
- Section 2: A new, four-lane Ohio River bridge. Construction is scheduled to begin in 2027 and be completed in 2031. However, if awarded the grant, the two states will be able to accelerate the timeline.
- Section 3: The Indiana approach. INDOT plans to take bids for the project late this year, begin construction in 2024 and complete the project in 2026.
The $1.4 Interstate 69 Ohio River Crossing billion project is one of three mega-projects that have been at the top of Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear’s transportation priority list, along with the $3.6 billion Brent Spence Bridge Corridor Project linking Northern Kentucky and Cincinnati, as well as the $400 million expansion and extension of the Mountain Parkway through Eastern Kentucky.
“Completing the crossing is critical for connectivity, safety and the competitiveness of our economies,” Gov. Beshear said in a statement. “But its importance extends far beyond this region, and that makes it worthy of significant federal funding. It’s important nationally because the crossing will close a major gap in the I-69 corridor. It’s important internationally because I-69 is a major freight corridor stretching from Canada to Mexico.” LL