Sept. 9, 2009
For Immediate Release
Lebanon City Administrator John Thomas, right, had a moment with United States Representative Brett Guthrie, left, at the Heartland Parkway Foundation meeting. Standing between the two, from left, are: St. Catherine College president Dr. William Huston; Columbia Mayor Pat Bell; Campbellsville attorney Bryan Bennett and Lebanon Mayor Gary Crenshaw. (Campbellsville University photo by Linda Waggener)
HEARTLAND PARKWAY FOUNDATION RECEIVES CONGRESSIONAL UPDATE FROM U.S. REP. BRETT GUTHRIE
By Linda Waggener, marketing and media relations coordinator
CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. — United States Representative Brett Guthrie, second district of Kentucky, gave a progress report to the Heartland Parkway Foundation board of directors in Lebanon on Sept. 2.
He shared news of pending reauthorization of the federal highway bill currently under consideration by the U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, of which he is a member, and affirmed that this bill contains the necessary funding for the next steps of the major road project spanning Adair, Taylor, Marion and Washington counties.
Guthrie said, “The transportation bill is a massive five-year authorization totaling around $456 billion, so there may be no specifics soon, but the Heartland Parkway is a very important north-south corridor that I remain committed to.”
Working with Congressman Ed Whitfield, Guthrie is supporting three proposals for additional funding to be included in the bill once it’s approved. These are:
• Funding for the engineering design on the Columbia to Campbellsville section of the parkway;
• Funding for the engineering design on the Campbellsville Bypass; and
• Funding for the preliminary engineering and environmental studies on the 40 mile section running from Sportsman Lake Road near Campbellsville to the Bluegrass Parkway through Lebanon and Springfield.
John Chowning, center, recalled some of the shared work experiences in regional civic leadership with Adair County’s Chamber executive director Sue Stivers, left, and Columbia Mayor Pat Bell, right.
The Heartland Parkway will provide relief to both I-65 and I-75, serve as a connector to I-64 to the north, and will also connect with the future I-66 route along the Louie B. Nunn Cumberland Parkway, facilitating economic development and tourism.
Guthrie expressed his continuing strong support of the project, commending the Heartland Parkway Foundation Board of Directors for the regional effort to build support for the project.
Kentucky Transportation Cabinet’s John Moore, branch manager for project development of District Four in Elizabethtown, gave an update on the ongoing preliminary engineering and environmental study on the Columbia-Campbellsville segment and Campbellsville Bypass. He said that additional public meetings are planned in the fall.
Sandy Simpson,at right, field representative for Congressman Ed Whitfield, is shown with Representative Brett Guthrie, at left, and Representative Bam Carney, second from left, at the Heartland Parkway Foundation board meeting. In the background are Campbellsville Mayor Brenda Allen, Columbia Mayor Pat Bell, Campbellsville Attorney Bryan Bennett and Columbia-Adair County Chamber of Commerce and Tourism executive director Sue Stivers. (Campbellsville University photo by Linda Waggener)
The Heartland Parkway is a project that was started in 2000-01 with the support of Congressman Ron Lewis, R-Ky., and the board’s mission is to educate the public on the importance of the construction of a four-lane highway along the Kentucky 555/55 corridor starting at the Martha Layne Collins Bluegrass Parkway north of Springfield, Ky., to the Louie B. Nunn Cumberland Parkway at Columbia, Ky.
Early discussions spotlighting the need for the connecting corridor came out of the Team Taylor County reorganization after Fruit of the Loom left the county with 29 percent unemployment.
Heartland Parkway Foundation chairman John Chowning, Campbellsville University’s vice president for church and external relations and executive assistant to the president, has served in a position of leadership since its inception.
Chowning said, “The Heartland Parkway Foundation Inc. was established to sustain and build long-term support for the project. The meeting further evidences regional unity and commitment of the four counties to make this project a reality in the future.
“We very much appreciate the ongoing support of U.S. Representative Guthrie in taking the lead in Washington on this project, as well as the support of other members of the congressional delegation.”
He said support of our local officials and state legislators is important as we continue to work to educate the public and officials on the importance of the Heartland Parkway.
Campbellsville Mayor Brenda Allen, at left, spoke with colleagues after United States Representative Brett Guthrie gave a progress report to the Heartland Parkway Foundation board of directors in Lebanon on Sept. 2. Behind her is Columbia Mayor Pat Bell. Taylor County was also represented by State Rep. Bam Carney and by John Chowning, chair of the Heartland Parkway Foundation board and CU vice president for church and external relations and executive assistant to the president. (Campbellsville University Photo by Linda Waggener)
Dr. William Huston, president of St. Catharine College in Springfield, said, “I have seen similar dreams for development fail because of lack of leadership.” He commended Chowning and fellow board members for regularly bringing together leaders from each county to meet with officials so that interest and involvement remain constant.
Both State Rep. Jimmie Higdon of Lebanon and State Rep. Bam Carney of Campbellsville spoke briefly to add their continuing support.
Campbellsville University is a private, comprehensive institution located in South Central Kentucky. Founded in 1906, Campbellsville University is affiliated with the Kentucky Baptist Convention and has an enrollment of 2,601 students who represent 93 Kentucky counties, 27 states and 31 foreign nations. Listed in U.S.News & World Report’s 2010“America’s Best Colleges,” CU is ranked 23rd in “Best Baccalaureate Colleges.” CU has been ranked 17 consecutive years with U.S.News & World Report and this year in an additional category, ranking her fourth in the category of “Up and Coming Schools”. The university has also been named to America’s Best Christian Colleges® and is recognized by G.I. Jobs as a Military Friendly School. Campbellsville University is located 82 miles southwest of Lexington, Ky., and 80 miles southeast of Louisville, Ky. Dr. Michael V. Carter is in his 11th year as president.