Kentucky Transportation officials have announced the potential for an “outer loop” around Owensboro to help relieve traffic, and a virtual meeting will be held next Tuesday to garner the public’s input.
“We’re looking at a way to move traffic around the city in a better way,” District 2 Highway Department Spokeswoman Kiersten Jaggers said.
The office’s website said there are three preliminary corridors for the new loop, each of which was evaluated on six different criteria: the usage of the area around it, safety, cost, access to the community, environmental impacts, and bicycle connectivity.
The options shown in the maps below (click here then select the preliminary corridor tab for an interactive map) range from 21.9 to 35 miles around the city stretching from U.S. 60 East to West. For each, a new interchange would be constructed at I-165 and the Audubon Parkway.
After the office posted the announcement on Facebook, Jaggers said they have heard lots of feedback from the community. She said primary concerns include money and land usage.
When it comes to land usage, Mayor Tom Watson said this will be good for economic growth. He said that Owensboro doesn’t have much land to build on and the loop would be able to encompass some land.
This would bring the possibility of buildings along the loop and some economic aid for the city.
“It’s in the very early planning stages. I’m really surprised that the state picked it up because that’s probably a 20-year project, I would say,” Watson said.
Jaggers said that officials have looked into several different factors before presenting to the public.
“They have looked at safety concerns, travel delays, major business developments … crash reports and traffic analysis,” Jaggers said.
More information on the feasibility study can be found here
The virtual meetings will be held June 15 from 6-8 p.m. Click here to send an RSVP email and receive a link to the meeting.