The latest debate over the route for Interstate 69 revolves around the highway's path from Southern Indiana into Kentucky
While researching his book, “Interstate 69: The Unfinished History of the Last Great American Highway”, Matt Dellinger traced the very early history of I-69 to a southern Indiana landowner, who in the early ‘90s, wanted to build a toll road from Evansville to Indianapolis.
“This man, David Graham, in Washington, Indiana, had been talking to this economist who said ‘look, your problem is, that it is too small a project. If you continued this proposed highway all the way to Mexico, then the numbers would change and the economics of it would look a lot more attractive if it was an international trade route,’” said Dellinger.
Twenty years and billions of dollars later, I-69 remains incomplete, although there has been progress, If I-69 ever is complete, it will extend from Canada to the Rio Grande Valley in Texas. Dellinger says funding issues and sometimes, the proposed route of the interstate have impeded progress as each mayor, congressman or senator along the way has tried to steer it in a way that would most benefit his or her constituents.
“These arguments about the route have been going on since the idea was very, very young. It is about politics and it is about economic development,” said Dellinger. “The bridges are obviously key points in the route. They’re kind of the pillars that the rest of the route is defined by.”
The latest dust up over I-69 doesn’t take place far Washington, Indiana.
Eight years ago this week, an F3 tornado tore through parts of Northwest Kentucky and Southern Indiana. It claimed two-dozen lives and left hundreds injured. Rick Shanklin with the National Weather Service Paducah office said several factors led to the devastation.
“The main factor was the fact that it moved through at night. We had a major tornado that moved through a metropolitan area and unfortunately when you factor in that it impacted a mobile home park, that’s about the worst scenario that could occur,” said Shanklin.
The November 6, 2005 tornado traveled 41 miles and featured winds that reached an estimated 200 miles per hour. It touched down originally in Smith Mills in Henderson County.
Shanklin and several colleagues attended a gathering at a Red Cross facility in Evansville Wednesday.
The southern Indiana portion of our listening area got hit with as much as seven inches of snow during an early-morning snow storm Wednesday. The Evansville Courier-Press reports that Evansville's mayor has announced that all non-essential city offices will close at noon.
Emergency responders had to help numerous motorists in the area who got stuck in the snowstorm, or skidded off roads.
Motorists traveling between Henderson and Evansville, Ind., on the U.S. 41 Twin Bridges will encounter some lane restrictions this week. The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet says northbound traffic will be reduced to one lane on Monday and Tuesday for deck cleaning and maintenance.
A federal judge has ruled against opponents of the $3 billion Interstate 69 extension between Indianapolis and Evansville who claimed the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers violated federal law by giving Indiana permission to fill wetlands and reroute streams along part of the 142-mile road.
The mayor of Evansville says a sports and entertainment stadium that’s been in use since 1956 needs to go. Lloyd Winnecke believes plans to re-build or reconfigure Roberts Stadium simply aren’t feasible. Instead, the mayor wants Roberts Stadium to become Roberts Park, with picnic areas, bike trails, and a dog park.