BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- The most high-profile construction project in the state is still causing headaches, but state officials insist it is getting back on track.
Work resumed on the I-69 stretch between Martinsville and Bloomington, along existing State Road 37 this week. A big subcontractor had previously stopped work, saying it was owed millions of dollars.
The fight ended up in court, where Spain-based build designer Isolux Corsan tried to block a move by the developer to take $23 million out of a Letter of Credit to pay subcontractors. That move failed, and Indiana's Public Finance Director Dan Huge said the money is on its way.
"Hopefully contractors will be paid by early next week, if not sooner," Huge said.
Isolux Corsan, though, sent a scathing news release that called the developer's characterizations of the company "absurd."
Despite the back-and-forth, Huge said the project is back on track and will be completed next year.
"It is our goal to get this road built as quickly, and to as safe standards as possible," Huge said.
Drivers who travel on the road frequently, though, weren't so sure, especially since the project was originally scheduled to be done next month.
"Another year, and that’s provided there are no more times when they are not getting paid and then they don’t want to work," driver Debbie Shields said. "I wouldn’t want to work if I was not getting paid, so I understand (the workers') plight as well. It’s just difficult for everyone."
Ralph and Rachel Wildman agreed, saying they're ready to see the road completed so their drive to visit their grandkids in Indianapolis goes smoother.
"It’s twice the time for us to get up there and it’s a snail’s pace," Rachel Wildman said.
"It's poor planning on somebody's part," Ralph Wildman said.
Huge said that while the contractor has estimated a completion date of late June 2017, he believes October is more likely.
"Not only is the Indiana Finance Authority and INDOT, but the Governor’s Office are all involved in making sure this project continues to move forward as quickly and safely as possible," Huge said.