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News Item #1457
[William H. Natcher Parkway]
Study recommends no Natcher Parkway interchange be built at Elrod Road in Bowling Green
Posted: 7-Oct-2009 9:06PM CDT

A Kentucky Transportation Cabinet planning study recommends that no interchange be built between Elrod Road and Natcher Parkway near the parkway's terminus at I-65. The study was undertaken after a previous study found the construction of an interchange between the parkway and KY 884-Three Springs Road to be infeasible.

From the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet Department of Highways District 3 on Oct. 2, 2009:

KYTC releases final recommendations for Elrod Road Interchange Study
BOWLING GREEN, Ky. Rapid residential and commercial growth is occurring on the southern side of Bowling Green which results in increased traffic. In this area, motorists have limited options for accessing the Natcher Parkway and I-65 and must rely on the heavily congested routes of US 231 (Scottsville Road), KY 884 (Three Springs Road) and US 31W (Nashville Road) to reach various destinations. Additionally, mobility along the existing roadways is a limited for motorists, pedestrians, bicyclists and transit users.
A previous study for improvements to Three Springs Road (KY 884) included the Elrod Road Interchange Study as a recommendation. The Three Springs Road Study determined that local access to Natcher Parkway was not feasible at Three Springs Road due to the close proximity to the existing interchange of the Natcher Parkway and I-65, but could be beneficial at another location between Nashville Road (US 31W) and I-65.
In late 2007, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet contracted with Gresham Smith and Partners to conduct an additional planning study to determine the viability of adding an interchange to the Natcher Parkway near the Elrod Road overpass.
“Before we can start putting lines on a map and digging in the dirt, we need to answer many questions as part of the planning process,” stated Jeff Moore, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet planner for the local District Three office. “Why do we need this? What are the possible solutions and exactly what will be the impacts of those solutions? How much will these solutions cost?” To adequately address those questions, the work of the study included environmental and geotechnical overviews, crash and traffic analyses, the collaborative development of alternatives and recommendations.
In the course of the study, three alternatives were developed for a possible interchange at Elrod Road and included improvements to Elrod Road and Smallhouse Road.
Based upon the analyses of the three alternatives and input from the community, the final conclusions from the study included the following:
1) None of the alternatives would reduce traffic congestion in the area.
2) All alternatives would result in some level of disruption either to homes, Western Kentucky University property, or churches.
3) The development of an interchange would require the City and County to improve Smallhouse Road and Elrod Road to accommodate an increase in traffic in the area.
4) Public support for any of the alternatives was not strong.
5) However, all of the build alternatives would support economic development (residential growth) in the area.
“The purpose of this work was to identify a solution that would improve the safety and efficiency of travel in the Elrod Road/Smallhouse Road area and to provide better connection for travelers along the existing network to the Natcher Parkway,” commented Greg Meredith, chief district engineer for the District Three office. Meredith continued, “Upon analysis of the alternatives and their inability to fulfill that purpose, our project team recommended that no interchange be built at this location, but safety improvements should be pursued along Elrod and Smallhouse Roads and that the feasibility of an interchange connection of this area to I-65 south of the Natcher Parkway be investigated.”
Copies of the Elrod Road Interchange Study are available at the Main and Kirby Branches of the Bowling Green Public Library. In addition, the entire documents can be downloaded from the KYTC Division of Planning website at http://www.planning.kytc.ky.gov/projects/dist_3.asp [Outside Link]

More information: Bowling Green Daily News: Study: Interchange not feasible (Oct. 4, 2009) [Outside Link]

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Updated: 7-Oct-2009 9:06PM CDT

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