Thursday, April 29, 2010

Interstate 64- Interstate 65 Connector Corridor One Step Closer

The new I-64/I-65 corridor connector will move one step closer to completion late this week when another section of the new four-lane U.S. 231 in Spencer County opens. The Indiana Department of Transportation says the new roadway will open to traffic from the Interstate 64 interchange to S.R. 162 east of Gentryville on Friday. At that point motorists will follow S.R. 162 to the existing U.S. 231. The entire new 22-mile U.S. 231 linking I-64 to the Natcher Bridge is expected to be open by the summer of 2011.

Meanwhile, construction continues on the 2.2-mile U.S. 60 bypass extension east of Owensboro that is expected to be completed in 2013. Phase I is underway from U.S. 60 East to Hwy. 144. Phase II construction from Hwy. 144 to the existing bypass near Hwy. 54 should begin by late 2011—depending on the new Kentucky road plan yet to be decided by state lawmakers.

The bypass extension and new U.S. 231 in Spencer County will be the final links to a new 100-mile, four-lane corridor that includes the Natcher Parkway and connects I-64 and I-65. This is expected to bring enhanced economic development activity to Daviess County and the region.

The Greater Owensboro Chamber of Commerce has worked with leaders in Spencer County for 25+ years through the work of the U.S. 231 Coalition to see it built. The Chamber has also been a leading advocate for the bypass extension in Daviess County . Chamber members sent thousands of emails supporting the project to Kentucky lawmakers and Governor Beshear’s office in February of 2009 when federal stimulus dollars became available to fund Phase I.  

"This is our interstate," said Nick Brake, President/CEO of the Greater Owensboro Economic Development Corp.  "We are creating a four lane highway between I-64 and I-65, and the main center is going to be Owensboro.  The area around the new hospital will grow with retail and commercial development much like you would see around an exit from an interstate.  This is Owensboro's exit on the interstate highway system!"

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