I-69 Finish Line
I-69 Section 6 is the largest and final piece of the Interstate 69 connection between Evansville and Indianapolis. The project faced obstacles even before the route was final: the state legislature prohibited I-69 from passing through Perry Township in Indianapolis until additional studies were completed. The previous section, I-69 Section 5, encountered schedule and subcontractor payment delays before the State reassumed control from the private developer in 2017.
Governor Eric Holcomb’s Next Level Connections program fully funded I-69 Section 6 and accelerated construction by three years. Initial construction began in 2019 to upgrade the heavily traveled State Road 37 to interstate standards between Martinsville and Indianapolis. A full closure of SR 37 in Martinsville was planned for the 2021 construction season. Motorists exasperated by traffic delays during Section 5 construction were skeptical that the last leg would be completed on time.
As the communications and public-engagement lead for the corridor, C2 rebranded I-69 Section 6 as “I-69 Finish Line” to build anticipation about the accelerated schedule to complete interstate construction. Paired with a new website and refreshed social media channels, C2 launched the branding at October 2019 project update meetings in three counties.
When the COVID-19 pandemic closed the project office in Spring 2020, C2 built public awareness and understanding ahead for the SR 37 closure in Martinsville using dozens of social media videos and weekly “On Track” e-newsletters.
More than 1,000 attended the kick-off meetings to interact with the project team and hear updated information. More than 1,700 users completed online surveys following the meetings to voice preferences for bridge and lighting enhancements. Since it was relaunched by C2, the project has gained nearly 2,000 new e-mail and text-message subscribers and seen its Facebook and Twitter followings nearly double. Facebook impressions neared 1 million in 2020, serving as one of the top drivers for the 46,000 visitors to the project website.