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Legislature approves Interstate 69 bill

Indiana lawmakers have approved a bill to lift restrictions on where the final leg of the I-69 extension can be built. 

The Indiana Senate voted 31-19 in favor of the measure, which now heads to Gov. Mike Pence for his signature.

It would revoke a 2004 law that prohibits the highway from passing through Perry Township in southern Marion County.

Opponents tell the Indianapolis Star that allowing that route would cause traffic problems and hurt businesses along the State Road 37 corridor.

Supporters say they want the state to have the option of using State Road 37 for the I-69 section between Martinsville and I-465. The current 37 is a four-lane highway with grade-level intersections and stoplights.

The disputed stretch is the sixth and last leg of the I-69 extension between Evansville and Indianapolis.

The highway is open between Evansville and the Crane Naval Surface Warfare Center. The section between Crane and Bloomington is expected to open later this year.