In the letter Whitfield stated: “It has recently come to my attention that some people are interested in shifting the route to the east, following United State Highway 231 from Washington, Indiana to Owensboro, Kentucky.”
Whitfield pointed out that the route currently designated as Interstate-69 is of vital importance to Western, KY, and that he was instrumental in seeing this route designated in Federal law as part of the SAFETEA-LU Technical Corrections Act of 2008 (Public Law 110-244).
Today, Whitfield received an official response from FHWA Deputy Administrator Gregory Nadeau.
In his response, Deputy Administrator Nadeau confirmed that a change in Federal law would be necessary in order to re-route Interstate-69 through Owensboro.
He also stated that the impacts of altering the route at this point would be significant and cost prohibitive, as millions of dollars have already been spent based on current statute and already completed work would essentially have to be re-started in order to accommodate the new route.
“I am pleased that FHWA agrees with me that not only would it require a change in federal law to move the route, but it would also be cost prohibitive. It is also my understanding that the William Natcher Bridge in Owensboro is only a two lane bridge and does not meet Interstate bridge standards, which require a four lane bridge and an emergency safety lane. This essentially negates claims that have been made that the Natcher Bridge would prevent a new bridge from having to be built,” said Whitfield. “I understand importance of Interstate 69 to Kentucky and to my constituents in Henderson and the surrounding communities. It is essential that we remain united and committed to completing the designated route as soon as possible,” he concluded.
Information provided by U.S. Representative Ed Whitfield
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