- Associated Press - Wednesday, May 18, 2016

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) - A state contractor is working to shore up a sunken area along a segment of the Interstate 69 extension where work was complicated by the region’s terrain.

Rainfall and drainage from geological features in the rugged area of Greene and Monroe counties that’s filled with caves, springs and sinkholes have created a large depression on a grassy slope within the 27-mile section of I-69. Construction of the section that opened in December between Crane and Bloomington was plagued by bare soil that washed into local waterways.

Indiana Department of Transportation spokesman Will Wingfield said the contractor for that segment has been working this month on the sunken area west of Bloomington, but recent rainfall has hampered that. When the weather improves, rocks will be installed to stabilize the slope, he said.

“It’s one of the largest areas we’re dealing with,” Wingfield told The Herald-Times (https://bit.ly/1sy5SmV ).

Crews are also working to install fences along the right of way in that section, which was the fourth segment to open along the extension that will eventually run from Evansville to Indianapolis.

Wingfield said state environmental inspectors will have to examine the slopes on either side of the highway section before contracts can be closed out on the $471 million interstate segment, which opened about a year later than expected because of erosion and other problems. The Indiana Department of Environmental Management documented several violations of surface water pollution control plans required under the federal Clean Water Act.

The first 67 miles of the I-69 extension opened in 2012 between Evansville and Crane, followed in December by the Crane-to-Bloomington segment.

Construction of a 21-mile stretch between Bloomington to Martinsville is expected to wrap up in mid-2017. The extension’s final leg between Martinsville and Indianapolis remains in the planning stages.

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Information from: The Herald Times, https://www.heraldtimesonline.com

Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC.

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