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Dreams of I-69

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From left to right, I-69 Coordinator Sam Sarvis and Henderson-Henderson Co. Chamber of Commerce President Brad Schneider

Henderson-Henderson County Chamber of Commerce President Brad Schneider was one of several officials from the chamber who attended a conference on bridges in Louisville. The conference’s focus was on the bridge project between Louisville and southern Indiana. Schneider says seeing the way officials in Louisville are planning their bridge will help Henderson officials when they start the I-69 bridge between Henderson and Evansville.

Schneider is part of C-Link, an organization of 12 northwest Kentucky counties, who have banded together to lobby for I-69. He says in 2009, the General Assembly passed the Infrastructure Authority bill, which allows local state entities to fund large infrastructure projects through bonding and toll roads.  Louisville has already formed a coalition to do this, and Schneider says Henderson hopes to follow suit within the next decade.

Schneider says the link between Evansville and Henderson is vital to the I-69 project.  The two bridges that currently link the cities are not up to interstate code.  “With a bridge there,” he says, “I-69 is just a glorified cul-de-sac.”

The main message Schneider and other officials took away from the meeting is that they need to start getting ready for the I-69 bridge project now, even if it’s years away. Schneider says, “It’s just the number of moving parts in a huge projects like this; we have transportation department in both states, elected officials in both states, the federal highways department, not to mention the local officials who are involved in all this.”

C-Link is working to hire a federal lobbyist who Schneider says will help focus attention for funding on I-69.

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Written by Angela Hatton

February 18, 2011 at 3:42 pm

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