FRANKFORT, Ky. (KT) - Work to upgrade one of Kentucky’s parkways to become part of the Interstate Highway System, and designated I-165, is beginning in earnest this month.
Preliminary work on the William Natcher Parkway, which stretches from Bowling Green to Owensboro, began this week along the right of way, and will increase to full construction the week of July 23.
The work zone extends from the Ohio-Butler County line, northward to the U.S. 60 Interchange in Daviess County.
Kentucky Transportation Cabinet District 2 Chief Engineer Deneatra Henderson said the main portion of the upgrade work will run for 22 miles, from near Exit 50 interchange in Hartford, northward to the U.S. 60 overpass at Owensboro.
“We’re pleased to be taking this first step required to upgrade the Natcher Parkway to Interstate spur status,” Henderson said. “This is the same process we’ve gone through to upgrade our parkways for Interstate 69. This multi-year effort will improve economic development opportunities for the region in the future.”
Work from the Natcher Parkway Exit 50 interchange extending northward includes removing concrete from the old tollbooth area under the KY 69 overpass, new edge drains, repairing relief joints, asphalt resurfacing, and guardrail upgrades.
The work starting July 23 mirrors a project started along the southern section of the parkway in the Bowling Green area this week.
The Natcher Parkway is restricted to one lane in both directions between Exit 6 at U.S. 31-W/Nashville Road and Exit 7 U.S. 68/Russellville Road in Warren County. Drivers will have to stop on the entrance ramps before entering the parkway at these locations.
Reworking of the tollbooth style cloverleaf interchange at KY 69 is expected to be in the next round of upgrades starting sometime after 2020. The Hartford exit is among four interchanges that will have to be reworked between Bowling Green and Owensboro to meet current Interstate standards.
The entire 72-mile corridor of the Natcher Parkway is expected to be upgraded to interstate highway standards between Bowling Green and Owensboro over the next five to 10 years. The effort to have it designated I-165 gained approval of the American Association of State Highway & Transportation Officials in December 2015.