Indiana presses ahead with I-69's next section


Indiana is pressing ahead with its search for a private company to finance and build a 21-mile section of the Interstate 69 extension that will eventually run from Evansville to Indianapolis.

State officials said Wednesday they'll ask interested companies to demonstrate they're capable of handling the project. A short list of qualified bidders would be released July 30.

The first half of the 142-mile highway opened last year and was built by contractors with state funding.

But the company that will build the 21-mile Bloomington-to-Martinsville segment by upgrading existing State Road 37 will sign a public-private deal under which it will arrange its own financing to design and build that stretch. Indiana would make payments to that firm for 35 years after the highway's completion.

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