Interstate 65 plans for expansion, improved mobility

Interstate 65 expansionMotorists, tourists, and daily commuters all have one thing on their minds: safe travels. And while driving through our region may provide beautiful scenery and an abundance of local attractions to stop and visit along the way, parts of our road system, particularly some sections of Interstate 65—leave much to be desired.

The area of Kentucky just south of Elizabethtown, where I-65 merges into a four-lane expressway, can cause traffic nightmares – and more importantly, major safety concerns.

Hopefully, that’s about to change if Kentucky’s state highway plan is approved. This section of the highway’s only remaining four-lane stretch in Kentucky could receive a $136.6 million boost in funding, one that will pay to build 12 miles of new northbound and southbound lanes over the next two years.

According to an article in the Courier Journal, from 2003 to 2009, about 41 percent of all traffic deaths on I-65 in Kentucky occurred between Elizabethtown and the Cumberland Parkway. We’re definitely taking steps in the right direction by making one of our region’s major arteries safer and less congested.

In related news, if you’re not current with what’s happening with The Ohio River Bridges Project, The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet is seeking teams of contractors to design and build a new downtown Louisville bridge, a modernized downtown interchange, and improved I-65 connections to Southern Indiana. A pre-bid meeting is set for Thursday, March 1, with plans to award a contractor by October 2012. More to come on this topic later.

The leaders of our region are realizing that change is needed in order to increase mobility and enhance travel safety in our area.

If that’s not enough good news, repairs on the Sherman Minton Bridge, closed since early September, are nearly complete. In fact, the reopening of this extremely busy span could occur as much as one week earlier than scheduled.

For a place that takes pride in its transportation and logistics infrastructure, all of these positive stories mean that getting around our region will be easier, safer and more efficient than ever!

Stay tuned as KIX continues to follow and update you on these important events.