I-69 extension work causes woes for IU’s spring commencement

File photo

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Continued construction on a long-delayed section of the Interstate 69 extension is causing headaches for those attending Indiana University’s commencement ceremonies this weekend.

The project will convert about 20 miles (32 kilometers) of Indiana 37 into the new I-69 extension between Bloomington and Martinsville.

Several students at the university have expressed frustrations about the continuing work and are upset that friends and family attending commencement have to deal with the construction project, said Andy Dietrick, spokesman for the state Department of Transportation.

“There are some students who, this is all they know of getting in and out of Bloomington,” Dietrick told the (Bloomington) Herald-Times .

Dietrick said he did tell students that big parts of the project will be completed this summer, such as the opening of interchanges later this month. Some bridge restrictions are expected to be lifted and an overpass will open in July.

“We’re working to finish up,” Dietrick said.

Work on that section was originally expected to be completed by October 2016, but construction was delayed multiple times before the state took control of the project last year from a private developer.

The project is now scheduled to be mostly completed by Aug. 31, though work like landscaping and lane stripping will continue after that date. That work will be the fifth section of the planned Evansville-to-Indianapolis highway’s six extensions.

The four sections connecting Evansville to Bloomington have been completed. Construction on the sixth section, which will connect Martinsville to Indianapolis, has not yet begun.

___

Information from: The Herald Times, http://www.heraldtimesonline.com