Hoosiers traveling north on Interstate 69 won’t have to detour through Martinsville starting Monday.
Gov. Eric Holcomb, state lawmakers and Indiana Department of Transportation officials opened the northbound section of the highway with a ribbon cutting ceremony in Martinsville. Southbound lanes are expected to open later in the week.
For the last year, the stretch of State Road 37 through Martinsville was completely closed so INDOT could convert a 17-mile stretch of road between SR 39 and SR 144 into interstate highway.
It was a headache for residents and commuters, but the full closure saved a year of construction.
INDOT commissioner Joe McGuiness said the expansion of the highway through Morgan County could bring $4 billion in economic impact to the area over the next 20 years.
“It is about growth and opportunity for our businesses and our citizens to be able to scale up, to be able to connect with those markets like never before,” Holcomb said. “This (I-69 expansion) was that missing crown jewel in our infrastructure, not just roads and bridges portfolio, but in our entire infrastructure program.”
Rolling construction will continue north of SR 144 as crews continue work on the I-69 Finish Line project, which will connect Evansville with Indianapolis and Ft. Wayne. It is scheduled to be complete by 2024.