LOUISVILLE — Officials in Owensboro are riding hopes that a new study will put them on a path toward becoming aligned with a highway from Tennessee to Michigan.
The study found that a proposed Interstate 67 would attract anywhere from 16,000 to 30,000 vehicles daily along most of its length in 2035 if the corridor is built without tolls. Projected traffic volumes are higher along its possible path through Kentucky. The corridor is envisioned to stretch from I-65 at Nashville to I-196 in western Michigan.
Transportation benefits and savings for businesses and households are pegged at $3.2 billion for the regions in Indiana and Kentucky near the proposed roadway over 20 years in a no-toll scenario according to the study, for which public and private groups in the region paid $250,000.
The corridor would mean more spending on gas, food and lodging in Owensboro, Kentucky's fourth-largest city (pop. 57,000), and it could make the city more attractive to business and industry looking for quick interstate access.
Owensboro is more than a half-hour's drive from I-64 in southern Indiana and an hour from I-65 at Bowling Green.
Despite the optimism of the study, the I-67 proposal appears stuck in the slow lane as officials focus on the Interstate 69 project under development in Kentucky and Indiana. I-69 eventually will stretch from Henderson to Fulton in Western Kentucky. A 55-mile stretch has already gotten I-69 designation.