INDIANAPOLIS – The Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) today announced that it will provide limited access to sections of the nearly completed Interstate 69 corridor for celebratory Community Day events in October. This is the first time INDOT has allowed public access of this nature on an interstate highway under construction and community leaders plan to take advantage of this special opportunity before the new corridor opens later this year.
Community Day events on the interstate will take place on Saturday, Oct. 20 at five locations along the 67-mile stretch of the I-69 corridor. Each location will feature a variety of family friendly activities being planned by local organizing committees. Some of the highlights may include: 5k runs/walks, concerts, various games for kids, food vendors, special ceremonial remarks, a beauty pageant, chalk art, classic cars on display, corn hole, putting contests and more.
The events will be free of charge, but the local organizing committees may ask attendees to bring canned goods and non-perishable food items to help support area food pantries. The approximate locations for the five Community Days being planned include the following (from north to south):
“When the new interstate opens, it will connect numerous communities that have been underserved for decades,” said Governor Mitch Daniels. “In my job, I have traveled all 92 counties and I know firsthand how important I-69 is to southwest Indiana. That’s one reason why these Community Days will be full of celebration. This new interstate holds tremendous promise for the future.”
In 2006, Gov. Daniels outlined a bold proposal – known as Major Moves – that included leasing the Indiana Toll Road. Funds generated from that innovative plan allowed construction to begin on the new I-69 corridor that will ultimately stretch from Evansville to Indianapolis through Bloomington. The initial 67-mile section that will open later this year will connect communities from just northeast of Evansville at I-64 to the US 231 interchange near the Naval Surface Warfare Center at Crane.
“We are thrilled to offer this special opportunity for local communities to come out and celebrate on the alignment before we open the new I-69 to traffic,” said Samuel Sarvis, INDOT’s Deputy Commissioner for Major Programs. “We are on schedule to open the interstate before the end of the year and when that happens, we will deliver even more things to be excited about through economic opportunity, safer travel, job creation and reduced travel times.”
“Our local Community Day on the interstate will provide a great opportunity for people from around Daviess County to be part of history,” said Ron Arnold, executive director of the Daviess County Economic Development Corporation. “The new interstate is providing us with an unprecedented opportunity for real, transformational growth and the good news is that these benefits will be felt throughout the state.”