Department of Highways, District 3
I-65 Widening Project Moving Forward
BOWLING GREEN, KY (September 23, 2005) – The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet is committed to ensuring the Commonwealth’s safe mobility by paving the way toward the future. This is evident in District #3 with preparations being made on I-65 to widen the major corridor that carries approximately 45,000 vehicles on a daily basis.
“This investment reinforces our commitment to providing a safe and reliable transportation system for all of our citizens,” stated Acting Secretary Bill Nighbert. Kentucky is one of only thirteen states that issued GARVEE (Grant Anticipation Revenue Vehicle) bonds to pay for the construction. The debt will be repaid with future federal highway revenues.
The first section to be reconstructed is from Cemetery Road to Carter Sims Road south of the Natcher Parkway. The contract was awarded to Scotty’s on August 26 with the low bid of $31,431,407.13. Crews have already started preparations for the widening process, one of which has included paving. “I’ve had some questions about the paving we did the first night or two they worked,” Keirsten Jaggers, PIO for District #3. “They are paving over the rumble strips because that’s where the traffic will be driving while we work on the road.” Preparations have to be taken to safely move the traffic before anything can be done to the road itself.
The next section to be let for bids is from the Tennessee State line to mile point five in Simpson County. This has tentatively been scheduled for December 2005. The last three sections do not have letting dates and are approximately as follows: KY 100 north to Salem Road; Salem Road to KY 240; and KY 240 to Carter Sims Road.
During the last round of reconstruction on I-65, seven permanent message boards were put into place along the interstate and the Natcher Parkway. “The ITS (intelligent transportation system) boards have helped to improve traveler safety by providing a means for us to get information out to the traveling public while they are on the highway, “ stated Greg Meredith, Chief District Engineer for District #3. “We look forward to adding additional boards to this system during this round of widening.”
The interchange at US 231 and I-65 is currently scheduled to receive construction funds in 2007. At present, the project team is reviewing various types of interchanges to see which one would best address the needs for this busy area. Because of this, the design work has not yet been completed.
Early discussions about widening this portion of I-65 included the possibility of also constructing the Natcher Parkway Extension at the same time. It has been decided to work on the projects separately. The Natcher Extension will connect the Parkway over to US 231 in the vicinity of Dye Ford Road. Design work for this project has been completed and can be viewed at the District 3 highway office on Morgantown Road. Currently, this project is in the right of way/utility relocation phases and has a tentative letting date for November 2006.