Economic development opportunities are opening up for Warren, Butler, Ohio, and Daviess counties along the new Interstate 165, formerly known as the William H. Natcher Parkway.
Governow Matt Bevin joined local elected leaders and business representatives in Bowling Green on Tuesday to celebrate the designation.
The project, announced in 2016, will upgrade the 70-mile corridor between Bowling Green and Owensboro to an interstate spur.
The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet and Federal Highway Administration agreed last fall to officially designate the Natcher Parkway as I-165.
Governor Bevin said new signage that's currently being installed sends the message that Kentucky is open for business.
“I mean the towns of Beaver Dam, Hartford, and others, these are going to open them up to economic development the likes of which we’ve never seen," Bevin told WKU Public Radio. "There’s a lot of good things happening in Kentucky right now, and this region of the state, in particular, is poised for incredible growth.”
Bevin spoke at Stryker Logistics, a warehouse and distribution center in Bowling Green just off 1-165 that expects to benefit from the interstate.
Safety upgrades are also a major part of the project to bring the parkway up to interstate standards. Three toll booth interchanges dating back to when the parkway was a toll road will be reconstructed in addition to improvements to exit and entrance ramps, and raising overpass bridges to increase clearance.
The project will maintain the legacy of the former parkway bearing the name of Congressman William H. Natcher. Portions of I-165 will be signed as the William H. Natcher Expressway.