Kentucky Transportation officials have announced the potential of an “outer loop” around Owensboro to help relieve traffic, and two virtual meetings will be held next week to gather public comment.
“We are looking for a way to better move traffic around the city,” said District 2 Highway Department spokeswoman Kiersten Jaggers.
The office’s website says there are three preliminary corridors for the new loop, each of which is assessed on six different criteria: use of the surrounding area, 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 US 60 east to west. For each, a new interchange would be built at I-165 and Audubon Parkway.
After the office posted the announcement on Facebook, Jaggers said he heard many comments from the community. She said the main concerns were about money and land use.
Regarding land use, Mayor Tom Watson said it would be good for economic growth. He said Owensboro didn’t have a lot of land to build on and the loop could encompass some land.
This would bring the possibility of constructions along the loop and some economic aid for the city.
âIt’s in the very early stages of planning. I’m really surprised the state took it over because it’s probably a 20-year project, I would say, âWatson said.
Jaggers said officials looked at several different factors before presenting to the public.
âThey looked at safety issues, travel delays, major business developmentsâ¦ accident reports and traffic analysis,â Jaggers said.
More information on the feasibility study can be found here
The virtual meetings will take place on June 13 at 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. Click here to send an RSVP email and receive a link to the meeting.