Toll Booths to Close On Parkways

By: Ryan Dearbone
By: Ryan Dearbone

"An average day 8,000 vehicles use this section of the parkway and there's going to be several facets to this: economic development. It'll encourage more traffic through the area. The other thing is it'll make the roads safer," said Transportation Cabinet Spokesperson, Keith Todd.

For many motorists looking to save money getting through southern Kentucky, U.S. 231 has become the popular alternative.

"A lot of truck traffic runs on U.S 231 simply because they don't want to pay extra, the tolls. Actually a lot of commuter traffic travels the roads on U.S. 231. So we're hoping that some of that traffic will now move to the parkway."

The toll booths were originally set up back in the 1970s to pay for the parkways by the state.

Now, Todd said the debt on the roads is clear so the toll booths can go.

Governor Ernie Fletcher said it was an important decision to move back the time to close down the booths from July 2007 to November 2006. "Its important because it sends a message to the communities beyond the borders here. It sends a message for economic development."

The governor also said it will cost the state less than $2 million to completely dismantle the existing toll centers.

He also notes that the more than 40 employees who work the booths will not be left out in the cold. Those who want to will be reassigned to other jobs within the state government.

The Natcher Parkway currently has three collection centers in Bowling Green, Morgantown and Hartford.

The Audubon has one collection stop in Hebbardsville.

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