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I-69 bridge meetings tonight, tomorrow

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You have an opportunity to learn about and comment on proposed corridors for an I-69 bridge.

The I-69 Ohio River Crossing group will discuss 3 corridors during an open house at Milestones on S. Cullen Avenue in Evansville Monday evening from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m.

Another open house is planned for the same time Tuesday evening at Henderson Community College.

Earlier this month, the group whittled down the number of corridors from 5 to 3 -- 2 western corridors and 1 central corridor.

Spokeswoman Mindy Peterson says both western corridors would eliminate the U.S. 41 Twin Bridges…

("You would instead have a six-lane I-69 bridge in place of the Twin Bridges")

Peterson says those routes would eliminate long term maintenance of the existing bridges -- one which is more than 50 years old and the other more than 80 years old. But she says there’s a downside...

("Looking at West Corridor 1 -- the one just west of 41 -- you’re talking about many homes potentially being impacted there.  If you talk about West 2 – which is along the 41 corridor – you’re talking about possibly many businesses being impacted")

The center 1 corridor would be less expensive to build and would require fewer residential relocations and no business relocations.

But Peterson says to maintain both a new bridge and one or two of the old bridges could lead to tolls on the currently free bridges…

("What if that's a lower toll than the toll on the I-69 bridge? What if you don't toll those bridges and it's a free option? Can this project generate the revenue needed to make it a reality?"

Officials on both sides of the river have said they’d consider tolls to help pay for a new bridge.