The Washington Times-Herald

October 5, 2010

I-69 work officially begins

By Melody Brunson
Washington Times-Herald

EPSOM — Although work on a new interstate through Daviess County has been under way since midsummer, ground was officially broken on Monday morning for Segments 10 and 11 of the Interstate 69 corridor.

Work on Segments 10 and 11 will include a stretch through rural Daviess County east of Plainville and near Elnora. The construction site for the ceremony was just west of the small burg of Epsom.

Indiana Department of Transportation officials were on hand, as well as local officials and contractors, and even a few curious Amish neighbors, as the earth in Bogard Township was ceremonially shoveled by officials. Construction workers of T.J. Lambrecht were anxious to get back to their heavy equipment earthmovers to make progress on the road.

Sam Sarvis, deputy commissioner of INDOT’s Major Programs and overseer of the I-69 corridor, said only five contracts remain to be let on the current project from Evansville to Crane.

“All 67 miles will either be under construction or under contract by January and everything will be under way by next summer,” Sarvis said.

“It will be the longest, continuous construction project in the country, 400 feet wide,” he added.

Also speaking at the ground breaking was president of the Daviess County Council, Dave Smith.

Smith said, “This is a great opportunity for Daviess County and will allow us to develop our industry a lot better and get our supplies in and out. And, the tech park at Crane is going to see a real boon.

“We want to thank those people who had to give up their homes to help us get this project going. I hope all the county officials will work hard to support this project and support those people who have tried to help us make the county a better place to live and bring in jobs for our kids so they can stay here.”

Richard Cottrell, representing the WestGate @ Crane Authority Board, said his interest in the I-69 project started in 2004 when he was on the Odon Town Board.

“Odon’s going to be a big thing because we are sitting between an interchange and Crane and Westgate Authority (Tech Park). We are going to have a lot of things going on,” Cottrell said.

Tom Gentry, an INDOT project supervisor who lives in Dugger, said he has been a longtime supporter of the road being built. “If you just look at a map and you see where I-465 is and you look down this way, you know this road should have been built in the ‘60s.”