Governor Beshear has announced the awarding of a contract that will lead to the next round of highway improvements related to the Interstate-69 project. Hall Contracting of Kentucky Inc. won the contract with a bid of just under $12 million.
The new project involves upgrading a 36-mile stretch of the Pennyrile Parkway that runs through Henderson, Hopkins, and Webster counties. The improvements will include new pavement and lighting, and the widening of overpass bridges.
The project’s targeted completion date is Aug. 1, 2015.
The ultimate goal is to have Interstate-69 in Kentucky run from the Ohio River in Henderson south to the Tennessee border at Fulton. Before that can happen, portions of three parkways have to be upgraded—the Pennyrile, Western Kentucky, and Purchase.
Those three parkways were all once toll roads. One of the challenges of finishing the I-69 project has been the rebuilding of interchanges originally designed to handle motorists stopping at toll plazas, as opposed to merging and exiting from 70 miles per hour interstate traffic.
A new study is attaching cost estimates to proposals that would provide an interstate spur for the Owensboro region.
The study, commissioned by the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, looked at plans for an I-69 spur-designation for the Audubon Parkway, and an I-66/I-65 spur for the Natcher Parkway.
Among the key findings of the study:
*The cost for upgrading over 23 miles of the Audubon, from Henderson to the U.S. 60 interchange at Owensboro, would run between $14 million and $15 million. Such a move would require the Pennyrile Parkway to be upgraded to I-69 status at the western end of the Audubon.
*Obtaining an I-65 spur status, by upgrading 72 miles of the Natcher Parkway stretching from I-65 in Bowling Green to U.S. 60 in Owensboro, would cost $66 million to $76 million.
*Upgrading U.S. 60 and 72 miles of the Natcher would cost as much as $148 million. The consultants advised against trying to designate U.S. 60 as a spur, citing high costs and the surrounding residential area.
Governor Beshear has announced a new contract to remake a major interchange along the Interstate-69 corridor in Hopkins County.
The latest phase of the project involves creating a cloverleaf interchange connecting I-69 with the Breathitt-Pennyrile parkway, south of Madisonville.
The $29 million contract was awarded to the Nashville-based Rogers Group, Inc., and Louisville-based Qk4 Inc., with a completion date set for May of 2015. Kentucky’s stretch of I-69 will eventually run north to south from Henderson to Fulton, in far western Kentucky.
Political and business leaders hope upgrading the existing roadway will boost jobs and economic activity along the I-69 corridor.
Completing the project will mean major upgrades to parts of the Pennyrile, Western Kentucky, and Purchase Parkways, which were not built to handle traffic merging into 70-mile-per hour roadways.
A federal judge has ruled against opponents of the $3 billion Interstate 69 extension between Indianapolis and Evansville who claimed the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers violated federal law by giving Indiana permission to fill wetlands and reroute streams along part of the 142-mile road.