I-69 progress could make for better 2018 holiday travels

PADUCAH, KY – Holiday travel next year through western Kentucky is likely to be safer and smoother as Interstate 69 continues to take over the Purchase Parkway.

The exchanges at Calvert City and Mayfield are set to be completed by July 2018. The deadline also includes extending I-69 to the Wingo exit.

That will mean drivers won’t have to take detours or slow down for construction. It also puts the Kentucky a step closer to being a part of the major artery connecting to Michigan. Once the interchange phase is complete, crews will move on to a bridge connecting Evansville, Indiana and Henderson, Kentucky. Kentucky Transportation Cabinet spokesman Keith Todd says that could cost up to $1 billion and take several years to complete.

Gerald and Blanch Young are among thousands traveling through our area for Thanksgiving. They enjoy the scenic trip from Plato, Missouri, to Elizabethtown, Kentucky. The completion of I-69 won’t necessarily change their route. “We like the country,” Gerald said.

Todd thinks having an interstate badge on signs in our region will attract cross-country travelers, slowly but surely.

Ultimately, crews will fill the gaps from Indiana and Tennessee. The ultimate path of I-69 will go to Texas.

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