Construction barrels came down Tuesday on two major interchange projects, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet announced, adding 31 more miles to Interstate 69 in Kentucky.

I-69 will replace the Julian Carroll-Purchase Parkway from the I-24 Exit 25 Interchange at Calvert City, extending southward through Mayfield to about the 20 mile marker. The I-69 designation is expected to become official following a Federal Highway Administration inspection of the interchange projects later this month.

"We are pleased with the completion of the new I-69/I-24 Exit 25 Interchange at Calvert City and the I-69/Purchase Parkway/U.S. 45 Exit 22 Interchange at Mayfield," KYTC District 1 Chief Engineer Mike McGregor said in a news release. "We can now turn our attention to completing upgrades along the remaining 20 miles of the parkway. We have started design work for upgrades to the KY 339 Exit 14 Wingo Interchange and additional upgrades that will allow us to extend I-69 southward toward the Kentucky-Tennessee state line in the future."

In January 2016, Gov. Matt Bevin announced that Jim Smith Contracting of Grand Rivers had been awarded a $37.8 million contract for reconstruction of the Interstate 24/Julian Carroll-Purchase Parkway Interchange near Calvert City in Marshall County. The contractor was also the successful bidder on a $24.1 million contract to reconstruct the U.S. 45-Bypass/Purchase Parkway Exit 21 Interchange southwest of Mayfield in Graves County, which included reconstruction of the KY 80 Mayfield Exit 22 Interchange.

I-69 signs are now visible along the section of the Purchase Parkway connecting the two projects.

With only minor work remaining to complete at the interchanges, KYTC engineers have asked FHWA to make the move to I-69 official. I-69 will terminate at Purchase Parkway milepoint 20.295, just south of the Cardinal Lane Overpass at Mayfield. This expands I-69 by 31.1 miles, giving Kentucky 130 completed miles of I-69.

The final section of I-69 awaiting completion is the new I-69 Ohio River Bridge between Henderson and Evansville, Indiana. A Draft Environmental Impact Statement, which includes the selection of a preferred alternative for connections to a new $1.4 billion bridge, is expected to be released late this year.

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