I-69 from Indianapolis to Port Huron

Current Status

Open at full freeway standards from I-465 in Indianapolis to the Blue Water Bridge in Port Huron, Michigan. SIU 27 open at full freeway standards from Chicago, Illinois to Port Huron, Michigan.

SIU 1: I-465 (Indianapolis) to Port Huron

The portion of I-69 between Indianapolis and the Indiana Toll Road (I-80/90) was part of the original system of Interstate highways proposed in 1956. By 1968, I-69 was extended to connect to I-94 near Marshall, Michigan, and by the mid-1980s, a separate freeway section was built from Flint to Port Huron (then designated M-21). All of the current I-69 route was open to traffic in October 1992. (Kudos to Chris Bessert for all the details on I-69 in Michigan.)

The only construction that is likely on this portion of I-69 is regular maintenance and perhaps spot improvements along the route (including widening projects near Indianapolis and Fort Wayne); as much of the route was constructed since the 1970s, and many of Indiana's portions have been substantially upgraded since they were originally built, the need for improvement is relatively small.

SIU 27: Chicago-Detroit-Port Huron

As part of the TEA-21 reauthorization in 1998, the legal definition of Corridor 18 was expanded to include SIU 27. Like all of the other SIUs numbered above 26, SIU 27 is actually a spur from the main corridor; unlike the others, it's already open as an Interstate Highway: I-94.

Much of the purpose of the Corridor 18 designation was to place this section of I-94 in the list of strategic trade corridors; the Chicago area has a great deal of trade with eastern Canada, and the I-94 route connects Chicago to all three major gateways to Ontario and beyond (via ON 401 and ON 402): the Ambassador Bridge and Detroit-Windsor Tunnel in the Detroit area, and the Blue Water Bridge in Port Huron. Unlike I-69, I-94 includes some of the oldest sections of freeway in Illinois, Indiana, and Michigan, with many sections over capacity or not meeting modern Interstate standards. The TEA-21 legislation specifically calls for improvements to the I-75 and I-96 connections to the Ambassador Bridge as well.


Evansville-Indianapolis | I-69 Home

Chris Lawrence <i69@lordsutch.com> (1 Aug 2005 at 20:50 CDT)