BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Officials handling the I-69 construction from Martinsville to Bloomington are reporting different completion dates.
The Bloomington Mayor's Office says Isolux Development Partners made the announcement at a non-public meeting Tuesday that Section 5 will now not be completed until August of 2018. The most recent project completion date is supposed to be October of 2017.
FOX59 is told representatives with the Indiana Department of Transportation, Indiana Finance Authority, Monroe County and the City of Bloomington were all in attendance at the meeting.
Stephanie McFarland, with the Indiana Finance Authority which oversees the terms of the contract, says the official completion date of October 2017 has not changed. McFarland says someone misspoke at the meeting and that mistake was corrected moments later.
However, the Bloomington mayor’s office says during today’s meeting, “Isolux stated that substantial completion of Section 5 of I-69 would not be possible before August of 2018.”
The mayor's office also says, “Negotiations between Isolux and its subcontractors were described as ongoing and needing to be finalized before a firm date of completion could then be formally negotiated with INDOT/IFA.”
When asked about another possible delay, Isolux told us they defer “to the official statement issued January 13 by I-69 Development Partners LLC and the Indiana Finance Authority. Isolux has no further comment at this time.” That earlier statement re-affirmed the October 2017 completion date.
Bloomington Mayor John Hamilton issued the following statement regarding the reported delay:
“I continue to be exceedingly frustrated with the opaque nature of this process. A major delay being disclosed in a small meeting is not how government should operate. Just yesterday two more people were injured in a construction zone crash. None of the partners in this project will take responsibility for the ongoing problem that this project has become for the thousands of people who rely on this transportation corridor every day. Hoosier residents and travelers are dealing with avoidable delays, inconvenience and safety risks. I will be requesting a meeting with Governor Holcomb to express my concern and ask for transparent collaboration and a real plan for completion.”
Neighbors are also concerned about what another delay could mean for their commute times and safety.
"It's definitely a headache because I drive this road all the time back and forth and they're always changing lanes and you're always worried about accidents," neighbor, Garnet McMillian said.
While others say they'll have to continue planning ahead just to navigate the changes.
"Everybody who lives around here hates it because it's just too much you know. You have to leave 45 minutes early for a 15 minute drive to town," neighbor Sandy Goolsby said.