Interstate 67 Would Create Explosive and Positive Growth in Owensboro
Since my existence began on this planet, I have lived in Owensboro, KY. And, one thing that has always stood out about Owensboro to me, is that all roads seem to lead to Owensboro... and then stop. And by roads, I mean those four-lane limited access parkways. You know, the ones with no numbers. And numbers are what we need. I'm talking interstate highway numbers. The Audubon Parkway begins or ends here depending on how you look at it. Same thing with the Natcher Parkway.
But with the news last year that a proposal was on the table for the construction of an Interstate 67 which would start in Bowling Green and connect to the proposed Interstate 69 in Southern Indiana, I actually said, "Hallelujah!" because this is exactly the kind of thing that Owensboro has LONG needed.
There are so many projects underway in this town, including the convention center and the new Bluegrass museum, but there is a way to make Owensboro even more attractive to the passing tourist on Interstate 67. Owensboro needs to somehow join forces with Holiday World. I feel Holiday World & Splashin' Safari and Santa Claus, IN, are an undiscovered gold mine.
You'd have I-67, running through Owensboro, connecting to the Natcher bridge, encompassing the new bypass extension and utilizing the new four-lane 231 that takes you up to I-64. Certainly, there are intersections on 231 that would have to be transformed into merges via overpasses or underpasses. But what you'd have is a major amusement park just off a U.S. interstate highway and one which advertises regionally and is actually the best option for that type of entertainment for a lot of nearby major cities. I'm thinking Louisville, Nashville and Indianapolis.
Owensboro is the nearest metropolitan area and would be an attractive site for large-capacity hotels, particularly with its 20-minute driving distance to Santa Claus. Then, that entire corridor could build up. This would lead to more industry, entertainment and retail and consequently more jobs.
Additionally, existing studies outline the benefits of Interstate 67 beyond the Daviess County line--a less-congested route from Nashville to Indianapolis being one example.
However any Owensboroan might feel about their city, for growth to happen, it not only needs to look attractive but be interactive by offering the kinds of opportunities that draw new residents and tourists.
Clearly, an endeavor such as this would take an incredible amount of time and resources, but the positives are many. Thanks to the Natcher Parkway, the Natcher Bridge and the new four-lane US 231, I feel the groundwork has already been laid.
There are a lot of ghost towns in this country. I've seen them online. It happens when a city stops growing. No city can ever afford to stop growing. And, of course, Owensboro is nowhere near ghost town status but it has to keep growing. Their can't be any slowing down.
Owensboro needs to lobby for the kind of development that will not only aid in that growth but expedite it.