By RICK CALLAHAN
TERRE HAUTE —
Indiana is weeks away from opening the first half of the Interstate 69 extension that will eventually run from Evansville to Indianapolis.
The Indiana Department of Transportation announced today that a 67-mile section of the highway from Evansville to near the Crane Naval Surface Warfare Center will open Nov. 19. That section is roughly the first half of the planned $3 billion highway route announced in early 2003.
The state agency says the initial 67-mile section will connect communities from just northeast of Evansville at Interstate 64 to the U.S. 231 interchange near Crane southwest of Bloomington. Construction work on the section began in 2008.
Highway department spokesman Will Wingfield says work on the stretch that’s opening cost $620 million, which is $80 million under budget.