Contract Award Expected By Year’s End For Highway To New Bridge Over Ohio River

Three teams of companies have submitted bids to build a highway connection to the planned Interstate 69 bridge over the Ohio River between Kentucky and Indiana.

The route eventually will connect Henderson, Ky., to Evansville, Ind., via the new bridge, which will be an extension of the existing interstate. Portions of the interstate already exist in both Indiana and Kentucky, but there is currently no interstate bridge between them.

A spokesperson for the Ohio River Crossing Project told local media that officials from the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet are reviewing technical aspects of the bids, which were due November 15. They are scheduled to open the cost portion of the bids December 15 and announce the apparent “best value design-build team” at that time. The construction project is expected to be awarded before the end of the year.

First Phase

Construction is set to begin in early 2022. The first phase focuses on improvements in Henderson and runs between Ky. 425 and U.S. 60 and is projected to cost roughly $230 million.

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“The I-69 Ohio River crossing offers the opportunity to open up western Kentucky to the world,” Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear said. “I am committed to getting this project done, especially at a time when the commonwealth is seeing such positive economic momentum, including the largest investment in western Kentucky in 25 years with Pratt Paper LLC. I look forward to breaking ground in Henderson early next year so we can move this transformational project forward.”

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) is overseeing work on the first phase. KYTC started working with contracting teams earlier this year. 

Kentucky Transportation Secretary Jim Gray said momentum continues to build for the first phase of the project, which he called “another step on our multi-year investments to improve mobility and safety throughout the I-69 corridor,”
He added, “This work is critical for connecting communities in western Kentucky and beyond.”

The environmental study for the project was completed in September with a record of decision issued by the Federal Highway Administration.

The interstate project is divided into two sections for construction. The second section is a bistate project between Kentucky and Indiana that will complete the I-69 connection from U.S. 60 in Henderson to existing portions of I-69 in Evansville. It includes the new river crossing.

Bridge Work Starts In 2027 

Design for the second phase of the project, including the bridge, is expected to begin in 2025 with construction anticipated to begin in 2027 and continue through 2031. 

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet said both states continue to look for opportunities to accelerate that timeline.