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William H. Natcher Bridge

The William H. Natcher Bridge viewed from its landing on the Kentucky side. (February 8, 2003)

The William H. Natcher Bridge

[William H. Natcher Bridge Location Map (2002)]
Location of the new bridge and layout of
highways in the area after its
completion in 2002.

[William H. Natcher Bridge Location Map (1997)]
Layout of the highways in the area in 1997
before the construction of the bridge.

The William H. Natcher Bridger over the Ohio River northeast of Owensboro is Kentucky’s second cable stayed bridge. At the time of its construction it was the longest cable stayed bridge over an inland waterway in the United States. The bridge was built to relieve traffic from the aging, two-lane Glover Cary Bridge in downtown Owensboro. Eventually the bridge will become part of a four-lane highway system between the William H. Natcher Parkway in Owensboro and I-64 near Dale, Indiana.

Planning and Construction

A 1987 study by the Green River Area Development District suggested building a bridge over the Ohio River near Maceo, Kentucky. Local leaders had long clamored for a new bridge to connect the Owensboro area to I-64 in southern Indiana, and the Maceo location was chosen because of its easy access to US 231 east of Rockport, Indiana. Across the river from Maceo, US 231 met Indiana Route 66 at a T-intersection. The envisioned bridge would continue from this intersection across the river into Kentucky. Land along both the Indiana and Kentucky sides of the river were very sparsely developed in the area of the proposed bridge.

In April of 1988 Kentucky’s 2nd District U.S. Representative William H. Natcher (D-Bowling Green) announced in a speech that he and U.S. Wendell Ford (D-Owensboro) would seek federal funding to construct the new bridge. In June, Natcher secured $3.6 million for preliminary work on the bridge, and the following year, $5 million in federal funds were allocated for final design and right-of-way acquisition. The bridge had been listed as a “demonstration project” which meant that federal funds needed to be fought for in each year’s budget. 80% of the cost of the bridge was to be paid by the U.S. government.

Also in 1989, Daviess county’s judge-executive Bill Froehlich met with mayors of several southern Indiana cities to begin talking about improving US 231 between the bridge and I-64.

In 1990, then-Kentucky Transportation Cabinet Milo Bryant hoped that ground would be broken for the bridge project in 1991. Before Gov. Wallace Wilkinson left office in 1991, he helped pour concrete for the construction of the bridge approach.

Kentucky’s 1992 six-year highway plan proposed construction of the bridge to be complete in 1996, and in 1992, over a $100 million in state and federal funding had been allocated to construct the bridge and its approached including the rerouting of US 60 near Maceo. However, in 1993 construction of the bridge was delayed due to delays in obtaining federal funding.

In 1991, Indiana committed to widening US 231, and in 1994, congress allocates money to help fund the US 231 widening project.

In 1995, Kentucky begins work on 4.7-mile stretch of highway that will lead to the bridge. The piers for the bridge’s two towers are completed in 1995; however, in 1995 the future of the bridge was cast into doubt when federal funding was once again delayed. In 1996, Kentucky’s U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell says that such demonstration projects have become a thing of the past; however, Kentucky eventually obtains over $20 million in federal funds for construction of the bridge. Kentucky allocates an additional $30 million for the construction of the bridge, and in October 1997, Traylor Bros., Inc. of Evansville, Indiana is awarded a $55.5 million contract for the construction of the bridge itself. At the time, this was the largest single contract ever awarded by the state.

Construction of the bridge began in January of 1998. Work progresses quickly on the bridge: by September of 1999, the bridge is over 50% complete; however, in December of that year Traylor Brothers announces that it no longer believes the bridge can be completed in 2000. Due to the complicated nature of the cable stayed design, the company believed the bridge would not be open until the summer of 2002.

In February of 2002, the gap between the two towers of the bridge is finally closed when the last 30 foot long section of the bridge is moved into place.

Opening

The bridge was dedicated on August 16, 2002. Indiana’s Governor Frank O’Bannon, Kentucky’s Governor Paul Patton, and elected officials from both states attended the dedication ceremony as did representatives of the Natcher family. The public was invited to walk the bridge; however, construction was not yet complete. The bridge finally opened to traffic on October 21, 2002.

Several roads were rerouted by the time the bridge opened. The maps above and to the right show the layout of highways in the area in 1997 and after the opening of the bridge in 2002.

Prior to the construction of the bridge US 231 crossed the Ohio River via the Glover Cary bridge in Owensboro. US 231’s route through Owensboro has now been KY 2155. The Glover Cary Bridge is now part of KY 2155. US 231 was rerouted along the US 60 By-pass and US 60 the east of Owensboro. US 231 splits from US 60 northwest of the community of Maceo.

A nine mile stretch of US 231 between Indiana 66 and the Cary Bridge in Indiana has now been renumbered Indiana 161. Indiana 161 terminated at Indiana 66 west of the community of Reo before being rerouted.

All-together over 12 miles of US 231 were rerouted from Indiana into Kentucky.

Before the bridge was completed, the Indiana Department of Transportation deleted Indiana 45 and transferred ownership to Spencer County.

William H. Natcher

William H. Natcher, a native of Bowling Green, served as a Democrat in the U.S. Congress for 41 years. Natcher holds the records for attending the most consecutive number of votes in congress. Shortly before his death a vote in congress was delayed so that an ailing Natcher could attend.

Natcher died on March 29, 1994. Before his death he campaigned vigorously to obtain federal funding for the project.

In 1989, Daviess County Judge-Executive Bill Froehlich suggested naming the bridge for Natcher. Gov. Brereton Jones officially named the bridge in Natcher’s honor in December of 1993.

A number of other things have been named in honor of Natcher: an elementary school in Cloverport, an elementary school in Bowling Green, the former Green River Parkway between Bowling Green and Owensboro, and the federal courthouse in Bowling Green.

Future Plans

Work continues in Indiana to widen US 231 between the bridge and I-64.

Kentucky’s current six year highway plan includes constructing an eastward extension of the US 60 Owensboro bypass. The extension would leave the current bypass near the KY 54 exit and connect to US 60 and US 231 east of the KY 144 intersection.

Photographs

Pictures: Aug. 9, 2001

Photographs of construction of the Natcher Bridge and its approaches, photographs and the Glover Cary Bridge.

Taken near the IN 66/US 231 intersection. Both towers and the deck are visible.
Taken near the IN 66/US 231 intersection. Both towers and the deck are visible.
Traffic congestion at the Kentucky end of the Cary Bridge.
Traffic congestion at the Kentucky end of the Cary Bridge.
The barrier along the south approach of the bridge is still under construction.
The barrier along the south approach of the bridge is still under construction.
[Click Here for More Pictures from Aug. 9, 2001]

Pictures: Feb. 16, 2002 and June 27, 2002

Photographs of the bridges and its approaches shortly after the final section of the deck had been placed.

View from the Kentucky shore.
View from the Kentucky shore.
The bridge viewed from Indiana Route 66.
The bridge viewed from Indiana Route 66.
Facing south on the Kentucky approach.
Facing south on the Kentucky approach.
[Click Here for More Pictures from Feb. 16 and June 27]

Pictures: Aug. 16, 2002

The dedication of the bridge was held on August 16. The event was attended by the Governors of both Indiana and Kentucky and by many other politicians. After the ceremony, the public was invited to walk across the bridge.

A decorative "William H. Natcher Bridge" sign on display at the ceremony's stage.
A decorative "William H. Natcher Bridge" sign on display at the ceremony's stage.
Kentucky Gov. Patton and Indiana Gov. O'Bannon cut a ribbon marking the official dedication of the bridge.
Kentucky Gov. Patton and Indiana Gov. O'Bannon cut a ribbon marking the official dedication of the bridge.
The south tower viewed from directly underneath.
The south tower viewed from directly underneath.
[Click Here for More Pictures from Aug. 16]

Pictures: Oct. 26, 2002

Photographs of the bridge and its approaches shortly after its Oct. 21 opening.

US 231 sign at the eastern end of the US 60 By-pass at Owensboro (October 26, 2002)
US 231 sign at the eastern end of the US 60 By-pass at Owensboro (October 26, 2002)
Northbound on the William H. Natcher Bridge (October 26, 2002)
Northbound on the William H. Natcher Bridge (October 26, 2002)
[Click Here for More Pictures from Oct. 26]

Pictures: Feb. 8, 2003

Photographs of the completed Natcher Bridge and its approaches.

Indiana 66-Indiana 161 north of Owensboro (February 8, 2003)
Indiana 66-Indiana 161 north of Owensboro (February 8, 2003)
The William H. Natcher Bridge viewed from its landing on the Kentucky side. (February 8, 2003)
The William H. Natcher Bridge viewed from its landing on the Kentucky side. (February 8, 2003)
[Click Here for More Pictures from Feb. 8]

Bridge Details

The following facts about the bridge are from a pamphlet distributed at the dedication ceremony:

Related images: [146 images related to this topic.]

Related image galleries: [William H. Natcher Bridge - August 9, 2001] [William H. Natcher Bridge - Dedication Ceremony - August 16, 2002] [William H. Natcher Bridge - February 16, 2002] [William H. Natcher Bridge - February 8, 2003] [William H. Natcher Bridge - June 27, 2002] [William H. Natcher Bridge - October 26, 2002]

Related links:

Related news topics: [Daviess County] [KY 2155] [The Ohio River] [US 231] [US 60]


Natcher Bridge News Items

[US 60]
Plans for Owensboro Bypass Extension Presented
Posted: 5-Feb-2006 2:26AM CST

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet recently presented proposed alternatives for rebuilding and extending the eastern end of the Owensboro bypass: Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer: Bypass extension plans to be displayed; Affected property shown for 3.4-mile project (Dec. 8, 2005) [Outside Link], Messenger-Inquirer: Residents along bypass extension route get look at plan (Dec. 9, 2005) [Outside Link]

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[US 231]
US 231 Indiana Widening Scheduled for Completion in 2011
Posted: 2-Oct-2005 8:32PM CDT

A project to widen US 231 in Indiana between I-64 and the William H. Natcher Bridge might not be complete until 2011 under Indiana’s new ten-year plan: Messenger-Inquirer: Final leg of widening could be done in 2011; Work part of Indiana's 10-year road plan (Sept. 30, 2005) [Outside Link]

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[US 231]
Budget for US 231 Southern Indiana Widening Project in Question
Posted: 16-May-2005 12:01AM CDT

Budget concerns in Indiana may delay a project to widen US 231 in Southern Indiana from the Natcher Bridge to I-64. The priority of unstarted highway projects has been under review since Gov. Mitch Daniels took office in January. Under the revised 10-year plan the US 231 widening project might be delayed until 2014.

Local leaders (including officials from Daviess County in Kentucky) met with Indiana’s Gov. Mitch Daniels last week and were assured that while the project would be delayed, it would not be delayed until 2014.

More information: Evansville Courier&Press: Officials upset over potential U.S. 231 delays (May 4, 2005) [Outside Link], Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer: U.S. 231 expansion on hold (May 4, 2005) [Outside Link], Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer: Officials: U.S. 231 expansion project back on track (May 12, 2005) [Outside Link]

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[US 60]
Bypass Extension is Owensboro’s Top Priority
Posted: 24-Feb-2005 4:46AM CST

An east extension of the US 60 Bypass around Owensboro has been identified as Owensboro’s top transportation priority by the Owensboro-Daviess County Urban Area Transportation's technical advisory committee. Construction on the project to extend the bypass toward the Natcher Bridge is expected to begin in 2008 and be completed by 2011.

The committee also rejected the idea of widening Frederica Street (US 431) to six lanes.

More information: Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer: Panel rules out six-laning Frederica (Feb. 23, 2005) [Outside Link]

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[US 60]
Daviess County Leader Wants New Owensboro Outer Bypass
Posted: 21-Feb-2005 5:28AM CST

Daviess County Judge-Executive Reid Haire would like to see an new interstate-grade outer loop constructed around Owensboro: Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer: Haire pushes 'outer loop'; Road would connect I-69, I-66 spurs (Feb. 20, 2005) [Outside Link]

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[Commonwealth of Kentucky]
Green River ADD Plans Detailed Traffic Study for Downtown Owensboro
Posted: 29-Mar-2004 12:16AM CST

The Green River Area Development District is planning a detailed study of traffic in downtown Owensboro. Traffic patterns in Owensboro have changed after the opening of the William H. Natcher Bridge to the east of the city.

More information: Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer: GRADD to study downtown traffic (March 23, 2004) [Outside Link]

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[Commonwealth of Kentucky]
No Projects Cut from Six Year Road Plan, but Some Are Delayed
Posted: 20-Feb-2004 7:35AM CST
Topics: Topic listing supressed. [38 topics related to this item]

Transportation Cabinet Secretary Bailey told state legislators on Wednesday that no projects were cut from this year's version of the Six Year Highway plan; however, some projects have delayed due to the states budget problems.

The list of projects is too long to list here; however, some notable projects are listed below.

  • $118 million for the Louisville-Southern Indiana Bridges Project. Some of this money will be raised by selling bonds that would be repaid when promised federal funding is allocated for the project.
  • $78 million for reconstruction of the Owensboro bypass to the east of its current alignment. This is meant to improve access to the William H. Natcher Bridge.
  • Widening of I-64 from Louisville to Shelbyville.
  • Widening of I-65 from the Tennessee State Line to Bowling Green.
  • Widening of I-75 in Scott and Grant counties.
  • Southern extensions of both the Breathitt Pennyrile Parkway and the William H. Natcher Parwkay.

A notable absence from the list is funding for replacing the I-71/I-75 Brent Spence Bridge over the Ohio River; however, the project remains on the unscheduled needs list and officials claim that it is still a priority. Construction on the project is still over a decade away.

This year the transportation cabinet has split the list into projects that will receive federal funding and projects that will not receive federal funding. Projects that will be funded only by the state are expected to be delayed and will be prioritized by need.

Update (Feb. 29, 2004): More information about projects in particular areas can be found here.

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[William H. Natcher Bridge]
Natcher Bridge Traffic Lower Than Expected
Posted: 6-Jan-2004 6:48AM CST

The four-lane Natcher Bridge currently serves only 4,500 vehicles per day while the two-lane Grover Carey Bridge in Owensboro serves 10,000 vehicles per day and the two-lane Bob Cummings-Lincoln Trail Bridge at Hawesville serves 8,900 vehicles per day; however, transportation officials expect traffic on the bridge to increase once an extension of the Owensboro bypass is completed and US 231 is widened to four lanes in Indiana.

More information: Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer: Traffic count expected to rise (Dec. 7, 2003) [Outside Link], Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer: U.S. 231 widening moving forward (Dec. 14, 2003) [Outside Link]

Jan. 15, 2004 Update: Courier-Journal: New bridge has less traffic than projected (Jan. 13, 2004) [Outside Link]

Jan. 20, 2004 Update: The (Henderson) Gleaner: Study: Natcher Bridge traffic light (Jan. 13, 2004) [Outside Link]

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[William H. Natcher Bridge]
Natcher Bridge Receives National Honor Award
Posted: 25-Jul-2003 10:37PM CDT

The William H. Natcher Bridge was one of 24 projects nationwide to receive an Honor Award from the American Council of Engineering Companies.

More information: Kentucky Transportation Cabinet: Natcher Bridge Design Earns National Honor Award (March 19, 2003) [Outside Link]

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[Commonwealth of Kentucky]
2003 Official Highway Map Released
Posted: 20-Jul-2003 8:34AM CDT

Updated: 21-Jul-2003 2:00PM CDT

[Cover of the 2003 Official Highway Map]The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet released the 2003 version of the official highway map on May 29. There were no apparent major changes over the previous year's, except for the fact that on June 10, the map was modified to show the former Daniel Boone Parkway as the Hal Rogers Parkway.

More information: KYTC: Official Highway Map [Outside Link]

The map is now available in rest areas. I picked up a copy at the Paducah Welcome Center yesterday. The cover art is a photograph of the William H. Natcher Bridge.

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[William H. Natcher Bridge]
Natcher Bridge Named in the Top 10 Bridges by Roads and Bridges Magazine
Posted: 30-Dec-2002 4:02AM CST

The new William H. Natcher Bridge over the Ohio River near Owensboro has been named as one of the Top 10 Bridges by Roads and Bridges Magazine.

More information: KYTC Press Release [Outside Link]

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[US 60]
State Recommends Route for US 60 By-pass Extension in Owensboro
Posted: 4-Nov-2002 2:07AM CST

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet has recommended a route for an eastern extension of the Wendell H. Ford Expressway US 60 By-pass in Owensboro. The 4.5-mile recommended route begins north of Kentucky 54 on the current US 60 By-pass and connects to US 60/US 231 east of KY 144. The extension is intended to relieve congestion along US 60/US 231 east of Owensboro. Traffic on the current route is expected to increase now that US 231 has been rerouted as part of the approach to the Natcher Bridge.

More information: Messenger-Inquirer: State makes recommendation for $53 million bypass extension (10/25/2002) [Outside Link]

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[William H. Natcher Bridge]
Natcher Bridge Opens
Posted: 3-Nov-2002 9:28PM CST

The William H. Natcher Bridge over the Ohio River northeast of Owensboro opened to traffic on October 21, 2002.

More information: Messenger-Inquirer: Natcher Bridge opens to traffic (Oct. 22, 2002) [Outside Link] (free registration required), Messenger-Inquirer: Natcher Bridge on track for Monday opening (Oct. 15, 2002) [Outside Link] (free registration required)

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[William H. Natcher Bridge]
Natcher Bridge Won't Open Until October
Posted: 12-Sep-2002 10:21PM CDT

The Natcher Bridge probably won't open until around Oct. 10. Grouting of the tables was recently completed, and now wind ties must be attached to the cables. These ties are intended to restrict the movement of the cables during high wind. Other remaining work includes pouring concrete to complete the roofs of the two towers, painting, and electrical work. The construction equipment including two large cranes must be removed.

More information: Messenger-Inquirer: Bridge likely to open in Oct. (Sept. 12, 2002) [Outside Link]

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[William H. Natcher Bridge]
William H. Natcher Bridge
Posted: 1-Sep-2002 5:34AM CDT

New Route Numbers for Old US 231

Jacob Newkirk reports in this Usenet post [Outside Link] that the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet will probably renumber US 231 through downtown Owensboro as Kentucky 2155.

It has also been said that the Indiana Department of Transportation will renumber old US 231 in Indiana as Indiana 161. (See here [Outside Link] and here [Outside Link].)

The Glover Cary Bridge over the Ohio River at downtown Owensboro is in Kentucky so, if current plans hold, will be part of Kentucky 2155. The stateline is on the north side of the river, and the "Welcome to Kentucky" sign is at the north end of the bridge. The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet will continue to maintain the 62-year old bridge.

Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer Bridge Coverage

The Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer ran a series of articles about the Natcher Bridge and other area bridges in their August 30, 2002 edition. You need to complete their free registration to view these articles online:

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[US 60]
US 60 By-pass Route Selection Two Months Away
Posted: 1-Sep-2002 5:20AM CDT

A selection of a route for the proposed extension to the Owensboro by-pass will be announced in about two months, according to the Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer. When the preferred route is announced in October, the public will have 15 days to submit comments on the route. If the plans are finally approved, right-of-way acquisition could begin in 2003 with utility relocation in 2004 and construction in 2005.

The extension of the by-pass is expected to connect with the current by-pass near the Kentucky 54 interchange and connect with US 60 east of the US 60/KY 144 interchange.

More information: Messenger-Inquirer: Bypass extension route selection near (Aug. 25, 2002) [Outside Link] (free registration required)

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[William H. Natcher Bridge]
More Natcher Bridge Dedication Notes
Posted: 21-Aug-2002 8:42PM CDT

Here a couple of links related to the dedication of the William H. Natcher Bridge:

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[William H. Natcher Bridge]
Natcher Bridge Dedication
Posted: 17-Aug-2002 7:40PM CDT

The new William H. Natcher Bridge over the Ohio River was officially dedicated on Friday, August 16, 2002. The $70 million span connects eastern Daviess County, Kentucky to Spencer County in Indiana. During the dedication ceremony, politicians from both sides of the river remarked on the significance the new bridge will play in the development of Western Kentucky and Southern Indiana. They also recalled the hard work and determination of the late-U.S. Representative William H. Natcher for whom the bridge is named. After the ceremony, despite the rain, hundreds of visitors took an opportunity to walk across the nearly completed bridge.

The rumor date for the opening of the bridge is Sept. 25. Installation of guardrails and striping on the Indiana side still needs to be completed. Also the grouting of the cable stays has not yet been completed.

When the bridge opens US 231 will be rerouted onto the eastern portion of Owensboro's US 60 bypass, then along US 60, then onto a new four lane highway, and then across the bridge into Indiana. No word on what route number, if any, will be used to redesignate the existing route of US 231 which includes the Cary Bridge in downtown Owensboro.

A decorative "William H. Natcher Bridge" sign on display at the ceremony's stage.
A decorative "William H. Natcher Bridge" sign on display at the ceremony's stage.
Kentucky Gov. Patton and Indiana Gov. O'Bannon cut a ribbon marking the official dedication of the bridge.
Kentucky Gov. Patton and Indiana Gov. O'Bannon cut a ribbon marking the official dedication of the bridge.
The south tower viewed from directly underneath.
The south tower viewed from directly underneath.
[Click Here for More Pictures and Information]

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[US 231]
William H. Natcher Bridge
Posted: 8-Aug-2002 7:04AM CDT

The KYTC has posted this press release [Outside Link] with information about the Natcher Bridge dedication ceremony. As mentioned previously on this website, the dedication ceremony will be held on the Kentucky side of the bridge at 1:30 pm Central Time. Parking will be available on the roadway leading to the bridge and at Hawe's Truck Stop located on 6057 SR 2830 (Old US 60). A shuttle bus will take visitors to the bridge.

Also, the Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer notes that there have been no fatalities or very serious injuries during the 5-1/2 year construction of the bridge (the most serious reported injury was a broken ankle); however, six men were killed when a plane carrying engineers to study the construction site crashed at takeoff in 1990.

More information: Messenger-Inquirer: Bridge exacted a toll in lives (Aug. 6, 2002) [Outside Link] (free registration required)

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[US 231]
Natcher Bridge Presentation
Posted: 3-Aug-2002 3:07AM CDT

I recently discovered this presentation [Outside Link] about the William H. Natcher Bridge on the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet Web Site. The presentation contains information about the bridge along with pictures taken at several points during its construction.

More information: The William Natcher Bridge over the Ohio River [Outside Link]

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[US 231]
Natcher Bridge to be Dedicated on Aug. 16
Posted: 31-Jul-2002 2:09AM CDT

The William H. Natcher Bridge over the Ohio River near Owensboro will be dedicated on August 16; however, the bridge will not open to traffic that day. The approach on the Indiana side has yet to be completed.

The dedication ceremony beings at 1:30 pm on August 16 and is open to the public. Visitors will be able to walk across the bridge. Visitors will be able to park on the highway on the Kentucky side of the bridge.

The image below shows the general location of the bridge:

A map of northeast Daviess County, KY and southern Spencer County, IN showing the general area of the new US 231 and US 60.

More information: Messenger-Inquirer: Procession over bridge will mark dedication of new span (July 14, 2002) [Outside Link]

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[US 231]
Site Features: New Natcher Bridge Photographs
Posted: 31-Jul-2002 1:57AM CDT

I've updated the William H. Natcher Bridge page with pictures that I took on June 25 and February 16. The bridge and the Kentucky approach appear to be essentially complete. There was some work underway to install lighting along the bridge. The Indiana approach is still under construction.

View from the Kentucky shore.
View from the Kentucky shore.
The bridge viewed from Indiana Route 66.
The bridge viewed from Indiana Route 66.
Facing south on the Kentucky approach.
Facing south on the Kentucky approach.
[Click Here for More Pictures and Information]

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[US 231]
Natcher Bridge Dedication Delayed
Posted: 31-Jul-2002 12:56AM CDT

The dedication of the Natcher Bridge has been postponed due to scheduling conflicts with Indiana Gov. Frank O'Bannon and Kentucky Gov. Paul Patton. The bridge is now nearly complete.

More information: Messenger-Inquirer: Bridge Ceremony Postponed (June 14, 2002) [Outside Link]

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[US 231]
Natcher Bridge Dedication Set for August 2
Posted: 31-Jul-2002 12:07AM CDT

The new William H. Natcher Bridge over the Ohio River at Owensboro will be dedicated at 10:00 am on August 2nd. It has been 62 years since Owensboro's only other Ohio River bridge, the Glover H. Cary Bridge, was dedicated on July 30, 1940.

More information: Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer: Natcher Bridge dedication Aug. 2 (May 12, 2002) [Outside Link] (Free registration required)

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[US 231]
Natcher Bridge Work Enters Final Phase
Posted: 15-Apr-2002 5:48PM CDT

The William H. Natcher Bridge over the Ohio River near Owensboro is expected to open in late-July or early-August. Several tasks still remain to be completed: the construction of two foot-eight inch tall barrier walls on the outside edges of the bridge and down the center of the bridge, application of the final layer of concrete for the driving surface of the bridge, final tensioning of the cable stays, grouting of the cables, and painting of the steel undercarriage of the bridge. No date has been chosen for the grand opening of the bridge.

More information: Messenger-Inquirer: Natcher Bridge construction enters final phase (April 14, 2002) [Outside Link] (no longer online)

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[US 231]
US 231 and I-69 Shaping Up in Indiana
Posted: 12-Mar-2002 6:48PM CST

J. Bryan Nicol, commissioner of the Indiana Department of Transportation, recently made two speeches in Owensboro about the impact of road projects in Southern Indiana on the highway system in Kentucky. INDOT is widening US 231 from the new William H. Natcher Bridge to I-64. This project is expected to be completed in 2007. Eventually the widened US 231 will connect with the I-69 extension providing Owensboro with even better access to the road system.

More information: Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer: U.S. 231, I-69 projects moving forward [Outside Link] (no longer online)

Yea, KentuckyRoads.com 200th headline!

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[Commonwealth of Kentucky]
Six Year Plan Includes Many Projects in Daviess County
Posted: 19-Feb-2002 7:06PM CST

This Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer article [Outside Link] (no longer online) examines Daviess County road projects that are listed in the 2002 Six Year Highway Plan. The projects include:

  • an eastern extension to the US 60 By-pass to divert traffic heading towards the William H. Natcher Bridge slated to begin construction in 2005,
  • widening of Southtown Boulevard,
  • reconstruction of the northernmost six miles of the Natcher Parkway,
  • reconstruction of the approach the Cary Bridge over the Ohio River,
  • and several pavement rehabilitation projects and bridge replacements.
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[US 231]
Final Section of William H. Natcher Bridge Placed
Posted: 6-Feb-2002 8:29PM CST

The Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer reports in this article [Outside Link] (no longer online) that the final section of the William H. Natcher Bridge has been placed. The new cable-stayed bridge over the Ohio River is expected to open in late July or early August.

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[US 60]
US 60 Work in Owensboro Causes Problems for Businesses
Posted: 3-Feb-2002 6:36AM CST

This Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer article [Outside Link] (no longer online) reports that work at the intersection of US 60 and Bypass US 60 greatly reduced business at shops near the work zone. The work, to add extra turn lanes, was completed in December. Traffic is expected to increase this summer when the William H. Natcher Bridge opens. Eventually the US 60 by-pass will be extended further east to reduce traffic near Owensboro.

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[US 231]
Natcher Bridge on Track
Posted: 8-Dec-2001 3:55AM CST

The Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer reports in this article [Outside Link] that work on the Natcher Bridge is progressing well. Only three sections of the deck remain to placed, and they should be in place by the first of the year. The bridge and approaches are expected to be complete around the end of July.

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[US 60]
Decision on Route for Owensboro Bypass Still Months Away
Posted: 23-Oct-2001 6:52AM CDT

According to this Messenger-Inquirer article [Outside Link] (no longer online), a decision on the route for a new eastern extension of the Owensboro Bypass is still months away.

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[US 231]
Site Feature: William H. Natcher Bridge
Posted: 10-Aug-2001 6:52AM CDT

A new feature on the William H. Natcher Bridge has been added to the web site. It contains an overview of the project, a map of the project area, photographs of the bridge taken on August 9, 2001, and links to other sources of information about the bridge.

The William H. Natcher Bridge is currently being built over the Ohio River near Owensboro. It is expected to be the new route of US 231 when complete.

Taken near the IN 66/US 231 intersection. Both towers and the deck are visible.
Taken near the IN 66/US 231 intersection. Both towers and the deck are visible.
Traffic congestion at the Kentucky end of the Cary Bridge.
Traffic congestion at the Kentucky end of the Cary Bridge.
The barrier along the south approach of the bridge is still under construction.
The barrier along the south approach of the bridge is still under construction.
[Click Here for More Pictures from Aug. 9, 2001]

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[US 231]
New US 231 Ohio Bridge One Year Away
Posted: 2-Aug-2001 2:44AM CDT

The Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer reports in this July 22, 2001 article [Outside Link] (no longer online) that work on the new cable stayed bridge over the Ohio River near Owensboro should be complete in about a year. The new bridge will carry US 231 and will divert traffic from the existing bridge in downtown Owensboro.

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