The Indiana Finance Authority (IFA) Board on Wednesday made a preliminary selection of a Dutch-led team to finance, design, construct, operate and maintain a 21-mile section of Interstate 69 (I-69) extending between Bloomington and Martinsville.

If fully approved by IFA and Indiana Gov. Mark Pence, Isolux Infrastructure Netherlands B.V., will break ground on the $325-million section later this year and open it to traffic by December 2016. In addition to Public Sector Pension Investment Board and Grupo Isolux Corsan S.A., team members include AZTEC Engineering Group Inc., and TYPSA (Technica y Projectos S.A.)

Begun in 2007, the multi-year, multiphase extension of I-69 eventually will create a 143-mile link between Evansville and Indianapolis. A three-section, 67-mile stretch between Evansville and Crane opened in November 2012. Construction currently is under way on a fourth 27-mile section extending between Crane and Bloomington. The section will open in phases in late 2014 and early 2015.

Indiana originally allocated $700 million for the I-69 extension, the majority of which has been spent.  For section five, Indiana elected to obtain private-sector financing under an availability payment form of partnership. Accordingly, the winning bidder will finance and construct the Bloomington-Martinsville section in exchange for availability payments from the state of Indiana over a 35-year period.

“The private sector can harness a different character of innovation to find greater efficiencies, and this project will continue Indiana's strong track record of partnering to deliver quality projects on budget and ahead of schedule,” Pence indicated in a statement.

Project plans include preserving and upgrading the existing State Road 37 to interstate standards.

Future plans call for a sixth section to complete the project.