Beech Bend

The county road leading up to Beech Bend will soon be much wider and easier to negotiate.

On Wednesday November 1, 2006, Governor Ernie Fletcher presented a check for $300,000 to make the curve into Beech Bend Park easier for large trucks to navigate.

The two lanes will also be widened to at least 12 feet each.

"It really came to a head when we realized one of the events left and it was a major event. It means hundreds of thousands if not millions of dollars of economic impact on this community,” said Governor Ernie Fletcher.

State Representative Jim DeCesare and State Senator Brett Guthrie say they called officials with the Kentucky's Commerce and Tourism Departments and asked them to fix the curve.

They say the county was losing major events because of the road dispute between the owner of Beech Bend, Dallas Jones and Matt Baker.

The two have been at odds for years over a stretch of road that used to serve as a second entrance to Beech Bend.

Jones says the road belongs to the county and Baker says it's private.

Back in September, The National Hot Rod Association announced it would not return to Bowling Green next year.

"When they called me, they told me the reason was because they had people sitting in line to get into the event for two hours or more and they had so many complaints with that particular issue. They said "we're not going to come back if that is not resolved,” said Vicki Fitch, the director of the Bowling Green Area Convention and Visitor's Bureau.

In order to make the road more accessible, members of the state's Commerce Cabinet and Tourism Department looked into the situation.

State officials say the curve that leads into Beech Bend is too sharp for large trucks to negotiate the curve without backing up. That creates a bottleneck situation when cars and trucks are trying to get into the park for a major event.

"It's obvious that this needs to be corrected and I understand what it takes to turn a semi and this is not sufficient, so it's a problem that needs to be taken care of,” said George Ward, Secretary of the Commerce Cabinet.

With a widened curve and road trucks and cars can get into the park easily.

"This will be a big help. It will help the big rigs be able to make the turn into the park and should make things go much smoother traffic wise,” said Fitch.

Fitch is hoping now that there's a solution in sight, her office will be able to recruit more events to Warren County.

State and county officials hope the road improvements will be completed by spring of 2007.


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