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Construction Begins on I-69 Ohio River Crossing Section 1 in Kentucky

HENDERSON, KY — Global design firm Stantec and design-build partner Ragle, Inc. have begun construction on the I-69 Ohio River Crossing (ORX) Section 1 in western Kentucky. Initiation of the project construction phase was celebrated at a groundbreaking ceremony with elected officials, Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) personnel, Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) representatives, and the Ragle and Stantec design-build team.

With a construction cost of $158 million, Section 1 will support the KYTC’s broader ORX project which will link the interstate across the Ohio River, completing the connection of the I-69 national corridor. Stantec serves as the lead design firm for Section 1 while Ragle executes construction.

The I-69 ORX Section 1 project includes more than six miles of future interstate extension through Henderson, Kentucky. The design also includes new roundabout interchanges at US 60 and US 41, as well as the reconstruction of the existing interchange at KY 351. Section 1 completion will allow for the future continuation of the corridor across the Ohio River.

“The I-69 ORX Section 1 project is the first step in this vital effort to close the gap in the corridor and improve connectivity for the region,” said Michael Perry, Project Manager and Regional Business Leader at Stantec. “Our team has a deep understanding of the I-69 ORX project, having served on the preliminary engineering team and supporting the National Environmental Policy Act process since 2016.”

The I-69 ORX project is a collaborative effort between the Kentucky and Indiana state governments, both of which have invested more than $2.2 billion to date to advance implementation of this national corridor. Currently, cross-river traffic in the region is limited to the existing US 41 bridges, which do not meet interstate design standards. In 2019, Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear stated that construction of the I-69 bridge over the Ohio River was a priority for his administration, vowing to open the project to traffic during his first term.

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“We’re proud to partner with Ragle to help deliver on Governor Beshear’s vision and to support communities in western Kentucky and beyond,” Perry said.

“Being part of the design-build team constructing I-69 ORX Section 1 is a tremendous source of pride for the team, our people, and our company," said Jason Ragle, ORX Construction Manager and Vice President at Ragle, Inc. "We are honored to be tasked with delivering the first section of this long-awaited interstate project for western Kentucky and our community. Having Stantec as our partner created a knowledgeable, streamlined, and experienced team that will continue to deliver on this ORX project."

Stantec has worked to advance project construction plans since early 2022, and the design team anticipates having all design completed by the fall of 2023. The I-69 ORX Section 1 Project is expected to be completed in late 2025.

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