With Wednesday’s official opening of a 27-mile stretch of Interstate 69 between Crane and Bloomington, Indiana University now has unprecedented access to areas of southwest Indiana that extend all the way to Evansville.
This means increased opportunities — thanks largely to decreased travel times — to further expand ongoing partnerships with facilities such as Naval Support Activity Crane, which in October signed an educational partnership agreement with IU that allows students and researchers to use base facilities as an applied laboratory.
That partnership already has yielded the first of many fruits, such as an energy conservation project conducted by IU School of Public and Environmental Affairs graduate students that reduced power usage at three NSA Crane facilities between 4.5 and nearly 26 percent.
As a Thursday story in the Bloomington Herald-Times indicates, planning for the next chapter of cooperation already is under way.
“Leveraging the two organizations by connecting the various faculty, student and laboratory resources from the campus with Crane are going to make the state stronger and will contribute to our national security in ways we haven’t even imagined yet,” said Kirk White, IU’s assistant vice president for strategic partnerships.
Read more about the potential economic value of I-69 here.