“Today’s announcement brings the opportunity for more economic growth in this region and increases safety and traffic flow for people living around and traveling by the Owensboro Riverport,” Beshear said. “Across the commonwealth, we are securing infrastructure updates that have only been talked about for decades, and I want to thank folks at the Owensboro Riverport for their partnership in getting this massive project off the ground.”
“Safety on our streets and roads, together with economic development and job creation, have consistently been among the highest priorities of Gov. Beshear and this administration,” said Kentucky Transportation Cabinet Secretary Jim Gray. “Both priorities intersect in this project at the Owensboro Riverport.”
The Owensboro Riverport is Kentucky’s largest publicly owned inland port and a domestic and international shipping hub between the Midwest and Southern regions of the United States. It opened for business in 1976, and little improvement has been made to KY 331 since then, despite increased traffic.
The improvements include widening two miles of KY 331 and adding a center turn lane in the congested southern industry strip. Rinaldo Road, which is owned by Owensboro Riverport and is the northernmost entry into the riverport, will also be widened to three lanes from KY 331 to the rail loadout.
The $30 million project uses a mix of federal, state, and local funds, including $11,520,000 in Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development funds from the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT), $15,380,885 in state matching funds, and $3,247,793 in local matching funds.
“The Owensboro Riverport Authority Board is excited to see this ‘last mile’ connector of Interstate to river/rail come to fruition for our community and the riverport,” said Owensboro Riverport Authority President Brian Wright. “We are thankful for the continuous support throughout this project from the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet and the USDOT Maritime Administration as we have navigated through a pandemic and encountered many obstacles along the way. To be going into construction is a true testament to the accomplishments that can be achieved through the collaboration and partnerships of federal, state, and local entities.”
“The Owensboro Riverport is one of our prize economic development tools, and this grant will contribute to the safety of the entire area,” said Owensboro Mayor Tom Watson. “We are very grateful to have the governor here to share in this event.”