Natcher Parkway Extension opens
Nearly two decades in the making, the William H. Natcher Parkway Extension was opened to traffic today following a celebration for the two-mile section of roadway. Awarded to Scotty’s Contracting and Stone LLC for $37.8 million in November 2009, the much-anticipated extension will provide an additional route across Interstate 65 for south Warren and surrounding counties.
“The completion of this project is a wonderful addition to the local transportation network,” said Warren County Judge-Executive Mike Buchanon. “This project will eliminate the bottleneck created at the Scottsville Road interchange, especially during peak travel times, providing greater mobility for the residents of Bowling Green and Warren County.”
State Sen. Mike Wilson, of Bowling Green, echoed Buchanon’s comments.
“Having a solid transportation system for your community that improves mobility while reducing congestion is the ultimate goal for us all,” Senator Wilson said. “Quality of life is always improved when people can get where they need to go in less time, using less gas.”
Working hand in hand with the extension is the new interchange onto the parkway located in the Plano community.
“The addition of a second crossover for the south end of the county will give emergency service personnel additional options that may allow them to respond quicker to life-threatening situations,” said State Rep. Jim DeCesare, of Bowling Green. “The area around the Scottsville Road interchange at I-65 can become a choke point during certain times of the day creating longer response times for emergency service providers.”
On any given day, approximately 33,000 vehicles travel on Scottsville Road between I-65 and Ashley Circle. Traffic volumes on the opposite side of the interstate vary between 17,300 prior to Plano Road to 23,700 between Plano Road and I-65.
“Congestion not only plays havoc in this part of Warren County with local commuters and emergency service folks but also with our commerce,” said State Rep. Jody Richards, of Bowling Green. “Congestion plays a large role in the cost of getting products to market, and in turn that cost is passed down to us, the consumer.”
State Highway Engineer Steve Waddle commended all who played a role in getting the Natcher Extension to fruition and applauded the new addition to the regional roadway system.
“Now more than ever, it is imperative that we continue to make improvements to the core network of roads in Kentucky, many of which are part of the National Highway System,” stated Waddle. “Even though the National Highway System only includes 4 percent of the nation’s roads, it carries more than 40 percent of all highway traffic and 75 percent of heavy truck traffic and is in place to support the nation’s economy, defense and mobility.”