In this edition of What The Community Has To Say, David Griffith talks about the I-69 extension developing south of the Tri-State area and the proposed Ohio River Bridge Crossing. This segment aired on Sunday, February 25th.
How is the Interstate 69 extension developing south of the Tri-State? Tennessee has a good plan for the I-69 route. Segment 8, the Millington-to-Dyersburg alignment, is approximately 65 miles in length. It is estimated at $492 – 601 million to build. It will be funded by Governor Bill Haslam’s IMPROVE Act passed in 2017. With completion, a 4-hour drive from Evansville to Memphis is possible. The road could aid families travelling to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
Several prominent people we know were raised in the area where the Segment 8, I-69 route is planned. The tiny community of Nutbush, Tennessee is home to legendary musician Tina Turner. An I-69/Tenn. 19 interchange is planned and could serve as the Nutbush-Ripley exit. Coincidentally, Tenn. 19 is the official “Tina Turner Highway.” A few miles south is Henning, the hometown of late author Alex Haley who created the documentary Roots. An I-69/Tenn. 87 interchange could increase visitors to the Alex Haley Museum nearby. Closer to Memphis along US 51 south is Covington, the home of late songwriter Isaac Hayes. An I-69/Tenn. 59 interchange is counted in the cost. Tourism is likely to increase for the state.
A new Ohio River bridge should be constructed that will not only carry I-69 from Evansville to Henderson but serve as “a gateway to Memphis.” Indiana officials should include Memphis on future signage near the bridge. It is hoped that Evansville will be posted on some of the West Tennessee interchanges. Evansville is the largest city between Indianapolis and Memphis on the I-69 route.
I’m David Griffith, and that’s what I have to say.