A Completed I-69: A Gift To Your Great-Grandkids
(Photo credit: RTV6, theindychannel.com)
Hey, good news Indy to Martinsville travelers! You know that tiny little boondoggle we call I-69? We’re almost ready to build the final leg! Here’s what’s coming:
- 26 miles of brand, spankin’ new interstate.
- 10 access points, just from Indy to Martinsville.
- 14 traffic signals retired.
- And maybe best yet, 11 minutes will be cut-off your travel time (not adjusted for current S.R. 37 traffic, which is soul crushing).
Check it out, courtesy of the Indiana Department of Transportation, or INDOT:
Here's the skinny. Recently, the Tier 2 Final Environmental Impact Statement was released in full. The FEIS - as the cool kids call it - not only maps the final leg of the project, but also details bridge and overpass replacement while noting how the construction could imact your neighborhood and the environment as a whole. If you have time for some light toilet reading (it’s 1,700 pages), click here.
Curious to know where I-69 will eventually hookup with I-465? In sophisticated traffic terms, it's pretty cool:
I-69 will access I-465 between Harding St./S.R. 37 and Mann Rd. Interestingly enough, part of S.R. 37 will be knocked out at Epler Ave. and eventually duck under I-69. Here's a link to all of the maps from Martinsville to Indy.
GREAT. SO WHAT’S NEXT?
According to INDOT, construction is set to begin during fiscal year 2020 in Martinsville, specifically S.R. 39 to Morgan Ave. Right now, we're in the predevelopment phase, which means:
- Offers to affected property owners will begin sometime this month.
- Plans to facilitate traffic have already begun
- Once those are complete, INDOT will be able to time the different phases of construction in the Martinsville corridor.
- Moving utilities and clearing trees could begin as early as next year.
There will be a thousand updates between now and 2020, and you who'll have 'em - THIS GUY. I'll sort 'em out and give you the needed stuff. I'm lucky to have the opportunity to help.
TELL ME WHAT I WANT TO KNOW
Two things we want to know most: When is it done? What is the cost?
Total cost for section six is $1.5 billion dollars, as detailed by this table:
The whole thing should be finished by 2027. Great!
Come on! It's not like I was thinking by the end of the summer, but again - COME ON!
Here's what Indy/Indiana will also look like in 2027:
- We'll have a new north split.
- Indy will be void of cars, just buses of the high speed variety.
- Amazon's headquarters will be operating successfully in downtown Indianapolis, where Circle Centre Mall used to be.
- All escalators at the new headquarters will be fully functional.
- The Maryland St. entrance to the headquarters won't be smashed in.
- Employees at the new Amazon headquarters will not be dropping over from hypothermia.
- Johnny Rockets will have opened at the new Amazon Headquarters.
- Hillary Clinton is enjoying life as a middle man for a high level hashish dealer in Sao Paulo, Brazil - a country that has no extradition treaty with the United States.
- Kim Yo-Jong will have successfully defected to the U.S. Her reality show "Things that Make You Go Un" is a huge hit as a Netflix original.
- President Trump will be in a dogfight of a reelection campaign. First lady Jared Kushner makes frequent campaign stops in Indiana.
- Governor Bosma.
- After undergoing off-season shoulder surgery in 2026, the Colts fan base will be energized by news that Andrew Luck is planning to throw a football.
BUT WAIT, WE’RE NOT EVEN DONE WITH PHASE 5 YET
Oh wait, that's right! What about the I-69 phase currently in construction, or Bloomington to Martinsville? Man, there sure were plenty of delays. If the public-private partnership that was tasked to complete the stretch hadn't gone kaput, you'd probably be at Assembly Hall in half the time. As I understand it, plenty of elbow room this season!
The new completion date is August 2018. Let's make it glorious.
I guess the silver lining is that the hellish stretch of S.R. 37 from Bloomington to Martinsville is a hockey season away from being a breezy interstate drive, but it's going to take nine years to build the big damn road from Martinsville to Indy. I guess it's taking the good with the bad, like when you run out of french fries - just eat the ketchup.
Please be safe, it's still pothole season. Ugh.
Matt Bair can't think of a single tasteless joke about I-69. He's the new voice of Indianapolis traffic, and can be followed on Twitter @WIBCTraffic. Tips? Call direct at (317) 684-8134 or the 93 WIBC Newsroom at (317) 637-6397.