City officials break ground for Riverfront Crossing

By Jasmin Embers - bio | email
Posted by Noah Stubbs - email

OWENSBORO, KY (WFIE) - This year, the Martin's road trip has lead them from Ohio to Owensboro.

Although they haven't been in town long, the couple has already noticed big changes.

"We see all kinds of construction taking place and did notice the map down here at the VFW Hall and we looked at it and looked at that development and think it's going to be terrific for Owensboro," tourist Tom Martin said.

Crews have already torn down several buildings on the property.

Burying utility lines and renovating some back buildings along Second St. is the next step.

City leaders say Riverfront Crossing and Smothers Park is a small project in comparison to the overall $80 million redevelopment plan but serves as an important focal point.

"To have this kind of what we call a paseo-kind of a grand entrance down to the river is really kind of unique so I think people will love it once we get it done," Downtown Development Director Fred Reeves said.

The crossing will start at the Daviess County courthouse, it will then cross Second St. and end at the Ohio River so people can have better access to downtown.

Space is available for condos, new bars, restaurants, and vendor sites and a clock tower.

Developers say the proposed convention center and downtown hotel will connect with Smothers Park on the river.

Mayor Ron Payne says all these changes are investments for the city's future.

"The most important feature is the economic development that I feel confident this is all gonna drive," Mayor Payne said. "I think people are gonna want to come here, gonna live here, they're gonna work here."

Martin says once development is complete in a couple years, more tourists will definitely travel to Owensboro.

"The amount of area that's being developed seems like that's really going to be an attraction for the city," Martin said.

Bids for the project will go out in early to mid-summer.

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