More than two years after the Pennyrile Parkway between Henderson and the Western Kentucky Parkway was re-branded as I-69, another section running through Hopkins and Christian Counties gets its new signs.
The Future I-169 Corridor signs were unveiled in Hopkinsville this morning.
The future of this 34-mile stretch of the Pennyrile Parkway can now be seen.
"It makes a world of difference for the future of economic development for the region," says Rep. James Comer, R-Kentucky
The signs marking the section between I-24 in Christian County and I-69 in Hopkins County as the Future I-169 Corridor are on display.
"I think it's a great opportunity for economic growth in Hopkinsville," says Karen Wallace of Hopkinsville, who works with the West Kentucky Workforce Board. "It will help build our economy."
Kentucky Transportation officials say as many as 15,000 vehicles use this section every day. Rep. Comer says the designation can potentially bring more jobs and economic development to places like Hopkinsville and Nortonville.
"It's going to help because they are going to be able to market that they're going to have an interstate now, along with rail and all the infrastructure you need to be able to attract industry with good paying jobs," says Rep. Comer.
"We've had interstate connections to the south once we get to I-24, we've had an interstate connection. But now we're going to have an interstate connection both north and south through western Kentucky once we get the bridge built," adds Bill Corum of I-69 Bridgelink
While some signs are up along this route, including at the Hopkins County-Christian County line, more work still has to be done before this future corridor becomes a present one. Kentucky transportation officials say exits and other parts need upgrades to meet interstate standards at a cost of $161 million. The upgrades could take several years to finish before official interstate shields go up.
Back in the fall of 2015, more than 40 miles of the old Pennyrile Parkway between Henderson and the Western Kentucky Parkway officially became I-69.