It’s a nearly one and half billion dollar proposal to bridge the Hoosier State to the Bluegrass.
More than 120 people in Evansville attended a public meeting at the Old National Events Plaza to hear more details on the I-69 Ohio River Crossing project.
“This is a very important night just to hear what people have to say,” says Mindy Peterson, ORX spokesperson. “What questions do they have? What concerns do they have? What do they like? What don’t they like?”
The preferred Central Alternative routes for the I-69 Ohio River Crossing Project means deciding between two tolling options. Central Alternative Route 1-A would toll both the new I-69 bridge and the U.S. 41 bridge. Route 1-B would only toll the I-69 bridge. For some, their major concern is tolling.
“Living in Evansville you shouldn’t have to be paying to get into Henderson,” says Judy Beyer, attending meeting. “I understand if you’re on I-69 and you have to go and you’re going down South for a vacation, but just going to Henderson for the day just to go shopping. A lot of people get gas over there that kind of loses the point of getting gas over there if you have to pay toll.”
On the opposite side of the aisle, project supporters say it’s been delayed long enough.
“I can remember being here 15, nearly 14 or 15 years ago, same place for the same purpose and it was money,” says David Griffiths, I-69 ORX supporter. “And we have not made progress from that standpoint, so we’re back again to see this become reality. It’s not just crossing to Henderson, but it’s the big picture we should be considering too.”
Officials say the price of the toll could range around two dollars, as nothing is fully set for the project, but there will be ways to help ease the minds of those concerned.
“It could be there might be a frequent user discount for people who are crossing the bridges on a regular basis,” says Peterson. “Really designed for somebody who works on one side of the river and then lives on the other side of the river. There could also be a lower toll rate for verified low-income users on the 41 bridge.”
Officials say the I-69 Ohio River Crossing Project team will record and address every comment they receive during the forum. Anyone who was unable to attend the meeting can still voice their questions and concerns by email, mail, or in person.