Interstate 165 Kentucky
I-165 overlays 70 miles of the 72 mile long William H. Natcher Green River Parkway between Bowling Green and Owensboro. Sign installation for the Interstate highway along the parkway commenced on March 6, 2019.6 Including the replacement of exit numbers and mile markers, the resigning project was expected to take two weeks, but continued until month’s end. Permanent signage for I-165 will be posted by early June 2019.7
First I-165 Shields replacing the William H Natcher Parkway signs were placed this morning in the Bowling Green area. These were placed on signs on I-65 northbound near exit 20. Please take note over the next week or so exit numbers will be changing on I-165. pic.twitter.com/f3TaqsFjJl
— KYTC District 3 (@KYTCDistrict3) March 7, 2019
The Natcher Parkway east from I-65 to U.S. 231 (Scottsville Road) was not included in the redesignation of Interstate 165 due to federal guidelines. The two mile spur was renumbered as KY 9007, reflecting WN-9007 the KYTC internal designation for the Natcher Parkway. The SPUI with KY 622 (Plano Road) was renumbered as Exit 0.
Remaining work on Interstate 165 will reconfigure three cloverleaf interchanges where toll plazas were previously located. The exchanges are with U.S. 231 outside Bowling Green (Exit 7), U.S. 231 at Exit 33 and KY 69 (Exit 47) at Hartford. An additional project upgrades the interchanges with U.S. 31W (Exit 3) and U.S. 68 (Exit 5) in Bowling Green to Interstate standards.7
Originally proposed as the Bowling Green-Owensboro Parkway, the William H. Natcher (Green River) Parkway fully opened December 1972 as a toll facility connecting Bowling Green with Owenboro.2 A counterpart to U.S. 231, the Natcher Parkway spokes northwest from U.S. 231 and Interstate 65 south of Bowling Green, to its end at the U.S. 60 & 231 bypass freeway around Owensboro. The parkway provides connections at or near Morgantown, Cromwell, Beaver Dam (via the Wendell H. Ford Western Kentucky Parkway), Hartford, and Owensboro. Though only signed with the standard name trailblazer as seen along other parkways in Kentucky, the Natcher (Green River) Parkway carries the designation of KY (WN) 9007.
In 1997, the Green River Parkway was renamed to honor Congressman William H. Natcher, who was a staunch supporter of various highway projects within Kentucky and elsewhere in the country.3
The William H. Natcher Green River Parkway was one of the last limited-access corridors in Kentucky to have its tolls removed when they ceased in November 2006.
A two-mile extension of the parkway at its south end was added by 2012 when it was pushed further east from I-65 to end at an at-grade intersection with U.S. 231.
Long on the books as becoming an Interstate spur, first with the once proposed I-66 corridor, a new designation was introduced when the Kentucky six-year highway recommendation plans came out in January 2016. Projects listed to Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 established the Natcher Parkway as the “I-565” spur route between Bowling Green and Owensboro.1 Several upgrades at interchanges, and along the parkway itself, would have to take place in order for it to meet current Interstate standards. $66 million has already been allocated along the Natcher Parkway for some of these upgrades, with them being split between Butler, Daviess, Ohio and Warren counties over a six year period.4
However, as of the September 24, 2017 AASHTO Special Committee on U.S. Route Numbering meeting held in Phoenix, Arizona, the William H. Natcher Parkway was formally approved as I-165 as opposed to I-565.5 The designation was applied to the Natcher Parkway from I-65 to its northern terminus near Owensboro.
North End / Wendell Ford Expressway – Owensboro, Kentucky
Trumpet interchange (Exit 72) with U.S. 60 & 231 (Wendell Ford Expressway) southeast of Downtown Owensboro.
South End / Natcher Parkway – Bowling Green, Kentucky
- “Kentucky’s FY 2016-FY 2022 Recommended Highway Plan”, Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (www.transportation.ky.gov).
- William H. Natcher Parkway, Kentucky Roads (www.kentuckyroads.com).
- William H. Natcher, Wikipedia.
- “Natcher Parkway upgrades to I-65 spur in road plan”, Beechtree News (newspaper), January 28, 2016.
- AASHTO Special Committee on U.S. Route Numbering Meeting Minutes, September 24, 2017
- “William H. Natcher Parkway officially changing to I-165.” WBKO (Bowling Green, KY), March 6, 2019.
- Re: I-165 Kentucky (William H. Natcher Green River Parkway) online posting by jnewkirk77, AARoads Forum, March 28, 2019.
Page updated April 11, 2019.