Governor Ernie Fletcher’s Communications Office
Governor Fletcher Removing Tolls on Natcher and Audubon Parkways
Tolls come off Wednesday, November 22, 2006
FRANKFORT, Ky. – During an event this afternoon at the Hartford Toll Facility, along the William Natcher Parkway, Governor Ernie Fletcher announced that the tolls were coming off the William Natcher and Audubon Parkways. The announcement drew thunderous applause from the crowd.
“These are the last parkway system toll roads in Kentucky,” said Governor Fletcher. “For far too long people have said this area is the only place in Kentucky that you have to pay to get in to and pay to get out of. We are changing that effective Wednesday, November 22nd. By removing the tolls we are clearing a path for new jobs and economic opportunities throughout this entire region.”
The 23-mile Audubon Parkway opened in 1970 while the 70 mile William Natcher Parkway opened in 1972. There are four toll plazas along the two parkways. The tolls were scheduled to be removed by the end of the current fiscal year which is June 30, 2007. Governor Fletcher made the decision to remove the tolls early.
“We are able to take the tolls off early due in large part to the tremendous savings that my administration has created though best management principals and greater efficiencies of government operations,” continued Governor Fletcher. “I said my administration would be good stewards of tax dollars. Today’s announcement is yet another promise made and promise kept.”
Kentucky’s toll road system had a total of nine separate toll roads and one toll bridge open to traffic by 1974. These toll roads totaled 676.79 miles and cost approximately $900 million dollars to construct. They were designed and built to give access to economically undeveloped areas not reachable by the interstate system.
“This mission that I started on the first day I took office has not been an easy one,” said Rep. Joe Bowen (R-Owensboro). “Secretary Nighbert and Governor Fletcher have been supportive of this effort throughout the process.
“Everyone up and down these two parkways will celebrate tonight because they will not have to pay these tolls after November 22, 2006,” said Bowen. “Because of the efforts of Governor Fletcher, Secretary Nighbert and so many others, tonight I can say mission accomplish.
“This Governor is committed to creating economic opportunities across the state,” said Transportation Cabinet Secretary Bill Nighbert. “Today’s announcement allows communities across the western Kentucky region to unleash their Unbridled Spirit.”