Friday, September 11, 2009

I-64/ I-65 Corridor a "New Chapter in the Growth of Owensboro"

"There's no place in Kentucky that has more going on right now than you all," Gov. Steve Beshear told a crowd gathered at Meadow Lands Elementary School on Wednesday to watch him break ground for the first 2.3 miles of the long-awaited U.S. 60/U.S. 231 bypass extension, also known as the I-64/ I-65 Corridor.

He was talking about the $120 million worth of construction planned for downtown Owensboro and a new $385 million hospital planned between Daniels Lane and Pleasant Valley Road as well as the $37.6 million road project.

When completed, the bypass extension will become part of a new four-lane corridor from Owensboro to Interstate 64 at Dale, Ind.

The new four-lane roads in Kentucky and Indiana will connect I-64 and I-65 along U.S. 231 and the Natcher Parkway.

The Indiana part is scheduled for completion in 2011 -- the same year the first phase of the bypass extension is to be completed.

No timetable has been set for the start of the second phase. But Yager Materials of Owensboro is set to begin working on the first phase, which will extend from Kentucky 144 to U.S. 60 East near Hawesway Truck Plaza.

When the project is completed, the highway will extend from the Hawesway Truck Plaza to Kentucky 54.

The first phase also includes a half-mile connector road from Kentucky 54 to Pleasant Valley Road, which will provide better access to Meadow Lands and the new hospital planned by Owensboro Medical Health System.

"This will open this whole region up even more for economic development," Beshear told the crowd of students, teachers and community leaders.

"This is a new chapter in our growth," state Rep. Tommy Thompson, D-Philpot, told the crowd. "This is a critical access route between I-64 and I-65."