Anything our city can do to grab the attention of travelers on Interstate 65 and draw them off the interstate into our city should be embraced.

Many cities in Kentucky and other states have beautiful entrances to their cities off Interstate 65, which likely lures many people off the interstate to visit their cities.

We hope our beautification efforts through the years at our I-65 interchanges have been helpful in that regard.

While we believe that those who have worked on these projects over the years have done a good job, we also believe new ideas for our I-65 interchanges are in order.

Operation P.R.I.D.E. has an idea for beautifying these entrances off I-65 that we really like because it would utilize donated funds rather than taxpayer dollars.

The nonprofit is finalizing its design for the Beautif-I65 project, an effort to bring plant-based decor to I-65 exits 20, 22, 26, 28 and 30.

The project will involve planting trees, flowers and shrubs along the interchanges and might also include four-plank wooden fencing and signature branding elements.

Arnold Consulting Engineering Services drafted designs for “Bowling Green, Warren County” signs at exits 20 and 30.

This “gateway” signage will feature 3D letters spelling “Bowling Green” across the top of the stone and Warren County on the stone, which will be lit at night. They’re still considering which colors to use for the letters.

This sounds like a really exciting project that would certainly lighten up and draw eyes to those I-65 entrances to Bowling Green while also bringing a sense of pride to our residents.

The current cost estimate is $2 million to $4 million and was initially predicted at $2.5 million. So far, Operation P.R.I.D.E.’s fundraising committee has gathered more than $1 million for the project, according to Operation P.R.I.D.E. Executive Director Angie Alexieff.

The project timeline has been slower than anticipated. Operation P.R.I.D.E. had to receive approval from state and federal officials on the preliminary design plans and will later have to check another series of boxes for approval of the final design.

While this sounds like a lot of money, it is money that we believe is worth spending because of how it will set Bowling Green apart once its completed sometime next year.

We applaud Operation P.R.I.D.E. and former Bowling Green Mayor Johnny Webb for taking the initiative on this and wish them the best of luck on raising money and getting approval for the project.

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