Gov. Beshear announces interchange project to advance I-69 - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

Gov. Beshear announces interchange project to advance KY I-69 corridor

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HOPKINS CO., KY (WFIE) -

Governor Steve Beshear announced Monday the award of a contract to reconstruct a major interchange in the Interstate 69 Corridor in Hopkins County.

It is one in a series of improvements to bring portions of three Kentucky parkways up to federal interstate highway standards.

"We're pleased that this project moves us closer to the objective of completing I-69 from Henderson to Fulton over the next several years," Gov. Beshear said. "The conversion of our parkways to interstate standards is an important part of our work to attract new jobs and improve commerce in western Kentucky along the I-69 Corridor.

The project was awarded to the team of Rogers Group Inc. & Qk4 Inc. on a low bid of $29,004,662. The target completion date is May 29, 2015.

The project involves a cloverleaf interchange connecting I-69 with the Breathitt-Pennyrile Parkway, south of Madisonville. It will be modified with a "full flow" connection interchange to accommodate traffic moving at modern highway speeds.

I-69 in Kentucky eventually will run north to south from Henderson to Fulton. But it requires improvements to portions of three Kentucky parkways that originally were toll roads – the Breathitt-Pennyrile, Ford-Western Kentucky and Carroll-Purchase. Some of the parkway interchanges were built with short, tight ramps to accommodate vehicles stopping at toll booths, not merging into 70 mph freeway traffic.

A 55-mile segment of the corridor has been completed, from roughly Nortonville to the I-24 Carroll-Purchase interchange at Calvert City, and now bears the red, white and blue shields of I-69.

"Much work remains in order to fulfill our goal of completing the entire I-69 Corridor from the Ohio River to the Tennessee border," Gov. Beshear said. "However, this project is a significant step forward and shows our commitment to completing I-69 through Kentucky."

In October 2011, Gov. Beshear and Federal Highway Administrator Victor Mendez unveiled the first I-69 shield, near Nortonville. Kentucky obtained FHWA approval to convert 38 miles of the former Ford-Western Kentucky Parkway to I-69 as contracts for upgrades were advertised.

In addition, 17 miles of I-24, from Eddyville to the Carroll-Purchase Parkway interchange, bears both I-69 and I-24 signage.

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