Some southern Indiana officials celebrated the start of construction work on a hotly-contested section of the Interstate 69 extension project.
Several government and business leaders participated in a groundbreaking ceremony Tuesday for the 27-mile stretch of I-69 from near the Crane Naval Surface Warfare Center to Indiana 37 south of Bloomington.
Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce president Christy Gillenwater told The Herald-Times that she believes the highway will help add jobs to the area and can't wait for it to reach Bloomington.
Construction is under way on the highway from Evansville to near Crane, but environmentalists have continued fighting the route picked near Bloomington.
Opponent Thomas Tokarski said protesters missed the groundbreaking ceremony because highway officials kept it quiet to give a false impression about public support.