“Every little bit that opens is going to help us,” added Arnold. “In this part of the state the feeling is when it opens to SR 39 it will be a big boost.”
Former Governor Daniels had been a big supporter for building I-69, but some area leaders were concerned about whether Governor Mike Pence would be willing to continue the work on the highway. “Our commitment and that of the governor is to finish the job,” said Wingfield.
“We are very pleased to see this,” added Arnold. “It is good to know what one governor started is going to get finished. This highway is giving us the opportunity to grow. It is drawing attention and there is no doubt in my mind that if we get ourselves in the right position we’ll get our share of projects.”
As the project begins to draw to a close the next hurdle for the highway may be the Ohio River. Officials still have not announced any plans for a bridge connecting I-69 in Indiana to the revamped parkways in Kentucky. “Right now our focus is on the Indianapolis to Evansville work,” said Winfield. “The bridges are a priority and we are working with our partners in Kentucky toward construction.”
“I think the game plan is to build new bridges over the Ohio,” said Arnold. “The bridges on U.S. 41 are not in the best shape and without new bridges you are looking at a bottleneck through there. I think that as the traffic patterns change and more of the north-south traffic moves to I-69 there will be a big push by Kentucky to route that traffic around Henderson.”