Bowling Green exits are getting a makeover as part of project led by former mayor

Bowling Green's exits alongside I-65 are getting a makeover
Published: Jan. 19, 2021 at 12:52 AM CST
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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) - It’s been a project a few years in the making called “BeautifI-65.” Construction started in early December of 2020 and is now nearing completion.

“I see it as securing the future,” Johnny Webb, a former Bowling Green mayor, said. Webb headed up this operation to revamp the scenery around exits 28, 26 and 22 in Bowling Green. There will also be new landscaping along the ‘gateways’ of exits 20 and 30.

“We will be planting in the neighborhood of 800 to 1,000 trees. There will be a black, four plank fence. Something like you might see in the Lexington area around horse farms,” Webb explained. Wildflowers will also be planted in the area of the new scenery.

Operation PRIDE is overseeing the makeover of the exits. The non-profit, founded by Webb, has been the leading beautification organization in South Central Kentucky. The organization has been able to raise nearly two million dollars to complete the project.

“The community support has honestly been great,” Webb said. He also expressed the gratitude for everyone who has helped him over the last three years make the project a reality.

“The community has been very generous to get us to this point,” Webb said, “If you drive around exits 22, 26 and 28 you can see that this project is well underway.”

Operation PRIDE has made a plan to keep up with the landscaping in the future by pairing with the city and county government. The Kentucky Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway commission has granted them permission to go forward with the project.

“We got Judge Buchanon in fiscal court to sign a memorandum of understanding that they would sort of take the lead on the maintenance of this,” Webb explained.

Webb also pointed out that the area will be mowed more frequently instead of only being bush hogged a couple times a year.

He hopes that this will not only be a nice spectacle for the people who live in Bowling Green, but also help attract new businesses to locate in the city.

“We’re going to make an impact on attracting industry as a result of this because a business that is looking to locate their company to the Bowling Green area, once they drive up and they see what we’re doing along the interchanges they’re going to say ‘there’s something special about this community!’”

The new features surrounding exits 22, 26 and 28 are expected to be finished in the next two weeks. the Gateways near exits 20 and 30 will be finished a little later.

To learn more about Operation PRIDE you can click here.

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