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MARTINSVILLE, Ind. — The Indiana Department of Transportation promises the I-69 Finish Line Project will finish a year earlier than expected.

The project, which began in 2019, is the sixth and final section of the I-69 connection between Evansville and Indianapolis. According to INDOT Public Relations Director Natalie Garrett, the project is the result of 75 years of studies about an improved, multi-lane highway connecting southwest Indiana.

“[I-69 Finish Line] began with some work on local access roads in Martinsville to provide connectivity and accessibility once the main line work got started,” Garrett said. “The entire stretch from just south of Martinsville up to Indianapolis at I-465 is 1.5 billion dollars.”

However, while the entire project is now expected to finish a year earlier, in 2024, that speed comes at a price: a five mile stretch between State Road 39 and Morgan Street will be shut down in order to expedite construction efforts.

“There will be no north-south accessibility on State Road 37 once the closure is in place,” Garrett said. “There will be some east-west connectivity that will cross State Road 37 to help people get where they need to go in Martinsville.”

That closure will begin this coming Saturday, Jan. 2, and will last until late 2021. Garrett says the closure will provide several benefits in the long run.

“The contractor will be able to bring in additional crews and additional equipment to accelerate the work in Martinsville,” Garrett said. “And rather than navigating what can be a congested, tight construction zone, those that follow the detour can completely avoid driving through a construction zone, and they’ll have increased mobility so they can get where they need to go.”

The official detour for the closure in Martinsville will follow State Road 39 to State Road 67 and to State Road 144. That will take drivers around Martinsville, Garrett says.

“I think it’s best that people really just start to plan your route and find a route that works for you,” said Garrett.

For more information about the closure and to plan your route, click here.