Officials still evaluating Interstate 69 completion schedule

January 24, 2017

While progress is being made on the Interstate 69 project south of Indianapolis, noncommittal answers about the project's completion have local government officials frustrated.

Progress on the 22-mile section of I-69 between Bloomington and Martinsville is evident, but local government officials have not yet received an updated schedule, The Herald-Times of Bloomington reported.

Gary Vandegriff, project manager with I-69 Development Partners, said the project is currently expected to be completed by Oct. 31.

But Bloomington's mayor says the lead contractor for the extension segment that will link his city and Martinsville has told local officials that section might not open until late 2018.

Mayor John Hamilton says Isolux Corsan LLC, the private company overseeing the project's design and construction, told local officials Tuesday the segment's earliest possible completion date is August 2018. That's nearly two year later than the original planned opening date of October 2016.

Indiana Finance Authority spokeswoman Stephanie McFarland says October 2017 remains the 22-mile section's official completion date, and any update to that time-table would come from the finance authority.

Hamilton told The Herald-Times of Bloomington that he's "exceedingly frustrated" by the conflicting information about the project's timetable for completion.

Members of the Bloomington/Monroe County Metropolitan Planning Organization spoke out against the Indiana Department of Transportation, the Indiana Finance Authority and I-69 Development Partners for not having an updated schedule ready this month. Planning organization members said project officials promised to provide an updated schedule two weeks after a meeting in October.

Vandegriff said the schedule for the project is still being evaluated.

"Everybody on our team is diligently working on it," he said.

The October 2017 completion deadline is a full year after the original project completion date.

The delays seemingly stem from issues with soil tests and permits. Officials with Isolux Corsan said additional costs incurred from those issues resulted in cash-flow problems for the company and late payments to subcontractors.

Subcontractors stopped working on at least two separate occasions during peak construction season because payments were so late.

Vandegriff said that all subcontractors are paid up to date, according to his latest information.

The newspaper couldn't reach I-69 Development Partners for comment.



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