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The next section of the Interstate 69 extension in southern Indiana is due to open next week, connecting Bloomington with Evansville.

Reports Wednesday say that the 27-mile Section 4 between Bloomington and Naval Support Activity Crane will open Dec. 9.

Gov. Mike Pence is expected to attend the ribbon-cutting at the WestGate Academy in an industrial complex adjacent to naval facility.

The opening of Section 4 will allow motorists for the first time the opportunity to drive from Evansville to Indianapolis through Bloomington using only multilane highways. The first three sections covering 67 miles between Evansville and Crane opened in 2012.

Section 5 now under construction follows the path of existing Indiana 37 between Bloomington and Martinsville.

The exact route of Section 6, which goes from Martinsville to Indianapolis, hasn’t been determined, but the draft of the environmental impact study, which is required by the federal government for large infrastructure projects, should be completed by 2017.

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