Community leaders from across the region are invited to attend a planning seminar to discuss the impacts of the coming I-69 corridor. “I-69: Our Road To The Future” will examine the effects interstates have had on communities and prepare officials from Kentucky, Illinois and Tennessee for future economic growth. Executive Director of the Madisonville-Hopkins County Chamber of Commerce Lee Lingo said the interstate is going to be one of the most significant changes to occur in the Pennyrile region.
“There will come a day when you look up and realize your town is no longer the sleepy town it was ten years ago," said Lingo. "There’s a vibrant happening going on, new businesses are opening up at a faster pace. A lot of that is going to come with not only the new road but with the economy getting better. This road is going to mean easier access.”
Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear, Senators Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul and Congressman Ed Whitfield have been invited to speak. Lingo said Beshear, a Hopkins County native, has a vested interest in promoting economic growth in Western Kentucky.
Lingo said part of the Western Kentucky Parkway and I-24 will be re-signposted to I-69 but certain towns and areas still need upgrades to handle the influx of motorists.
“It’s going ultimately from Canada to Mexico and it goes straight through Western Kentucky and we’re having a development conference to talk about what the ramifications are to all the communities that are along the thoroughfare," said Lingo. "We have a road already, we’re different from some of the areas on I-69’s planned corridor route that have to break ground, so it’s a bit of different sell for us, because people think ‘well we have the road, how’s it going to change?’”
The conference will be held in the Ballard Convention Center in Madisonville October 19th.