Section of I-69 extension won't be complete until June 2017
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- State highway officials have pushed back the expected completion date for a section of southern Indiana's Interstate 69 extension by at least eight months.
Developers initially expected to complete the 21-mile stretch between Bloomington and Martinsville by October 2016, The (Bloomington) Herald-Times (http://bit.ly/1YtB7Jv ) reported. But now the section of highway isn't expected to be completed until late June 2017.
Indiana Department of Transportation spokesman Will Wingfield said the delay will not affect the cost of the project for taxpayers. He referred requests about the delay to I-69 Development Partners, which was hired by the department to design, build and finance the section of highway.
The newspaper's attempts for comment from I-69 Development Partners about the delay were unsuccessful Tuesday.
Last week, I-69 Development Partners operations and maintenance manager Gary Vandegriff said disputes between the design-build contractor, Isolux Corsan, and its subcontractors halted some work on the project. He said the contract issues began sometime within the past 30 days, but he declined to provide details about the conflict, saying it was between the contractor and its subcontractors.
Department of Transportation spokesman Scott Manning said last week that the dispute relates to delayed payments. He said the contracts between Isolux and its subcontractors stipulate that full payment should be made within 10 days of completion of a job, but it was more in the 60- to 90-day range in some cases.
Manning said he wasn't aware of why the payments were delayed or which subcontractors were affected. But he said most of the work that's being done at this time of year involved earth-moving operations.
Fitch Rating Inc.'s decision to downgrade the Indiana Finance Authority's private activity bonds issued on behalf of I-69 Development Partners for the project reflects the deteriorating credit quality of Isolux and delays in the project's expected completion date, according to a news release issued last week by the rating company.
Isolux's credit rating has been downgraded at least twice since December. Those downgrades in the company's credit rating relate to delays in planned liquidation of assets.
Fitch's news release said the project delays primarily relate to difficulties in obtaining permits related to railroads and the discharge of dredged or fill material into U.S. waters.
Information from: The Herald Times, http://www.heraldtimesonline.com