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.