Major roads near O'boro could be getting facelifts - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

Major roads near O'boro could be getting facelifts

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OWENSBORO, KY (WFIE) -

Major roads near Owensboro might be undergoing facelifts.

It's all part of a study that's currently underway that could upgrade two parkways. 

The Audubon Parkway, along with the Natcher Parkway, could be seeing some changes in the future.

One of those changes would include upgrading the Audubon and Natcher Parkways to Interstate 69 and Interstate 65 spurs.

That potential new designation excites local business owners like Samantha Ellison.

"I think it would be a great idea," said Ellison. "I think it's amazing. I think that, you know, it will be...definitely bring more people downtown, which is what needs to happen with the convention center starting up and they're building that and the new park that we have over here," she said. 

City leaders say businesses that are looking to relocate often listen for a key word, interstate.

"I think it's a key element to economic growth," said City Manager Bill Parrish. "Any study you look at economic growth says cities that are on interstates, interstate spurs, have a much higher opportunity to attract business."

But to meet interstate standards, the parkways, especially the Natcher, would have to undergo things like changing bridge heights and widths.

That's what this study examines.

"They'll be able to take that and that will be the basis of going back to the federal government to say 'We want this...we as Kentucky, as the city of Owensboro, obviously, want this turned into an interstate,'" said Parrish.

Ellison looks forward to the possibilities.

"It could help out every single one of us small local-owned businesses down here," she said.

That study should be complete by March.

The cost of any needed changes won't be known until the study's finished.

Officials are also seeing if U.S. 60 could be designated as an interstate as well. 

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