By Nate Smith
Washington Times Herald
The wait will soon be over as events will kick off the opening of Interstate 69 on Monday.
Gov. Mitch Daniels will lead local dignitaries and celebrities in opening the first 67 miles of I-69.
The group Hoosier Voices for I-69 are holding two ribbon cuttings before traffic opens at 6 p.m. Monday for the general public.
The first ribbon cutting will be on the south end of the interstate, near SR 68. Daniels will be speaking, along with Congressman Larry Bucshon, Lt. Gov-elect Sue Ellspermann, Evansville Mayor Lloyd Winnecke and Toyota Indiana President Norm Bafunno.
Following the south ribbon cutting, Daniels will lead a parade ride north to Washington, where a lunch for I-69 workers is being held at Antioch Christian Church.
At Antioch, Daniels will also give remarks along with local leaders who started the movement for the interstate through Daviess County. David Graham will speak, along with Mark Newland.
Newland will be speaking on behalf of his late father James, who advocated for the road as the head of the Mid-Continent Highway Coalition. Jim Newland died earlier this year.
The parade will end at the I-69/U.S. 231 interchange, with a ribbon cutting for the north end of the completed interstate. Daniels will also be in attendance, along with Naval Support Activity Commander James Stewart and INDOT Commissioner Michael Cline.
Also scheduled to appear will be Indiana basketball legend Bobby Plump and 2012 Olympic gold medalist David Boudia.
Due to parking limitations, each event is by invitation only. Traffic will be open to the general public by 6 p.m. when barricades will be lifted.