|Length:||23.441 mi (37.725 km)|
|West end:||I-69 / US 41 / Pennyrile Parkway in Henderson|
US 60 Byp. in Owensboro
Named for John James Audubon, an early American naturalist, the Audubon's western terminus is the Edward T. Breathitt Pennyrile Parkway; the eastern terminus is the US 60 bypass. The road opened on December 18, 1970 at a cost of $23.5 million and, at 23.4 miles (37.7 km), is the shortest of the nine roads in the state's parkway system. It is also the only road in the parkway system that has not had the name of a Kentucky politician attached to it.
The road carries the unsigned designation of Kentucky Route 9005 (AU 9005).
A white and gold shield was used along the Audubon Parkway until 2006, when a new, standardized blue-on-white marker was introduced for all of Kentucky's parkways.
The last two tolled parkways in Kentucky, the Audubon and the nearby William H. Natcher Parkway, which opened in 1972, had their tolls removed on Tuesday, November 21, 2006. Ernie Fletcher, who was governor at the time, announced the removal of the tolls at the Natcher Parkway's Hartford toll plaza on September 27, 2006. Fletcher himself manned the end loader which demolished one of the Audubon's Hebbardsville toll booths during a press conference and ceremony which heralded the end of toll collections.
With the end of toll collection, the Hebbardsville (KY 416) interchange was modified slightly, although its past as the parkway's only toll plaza remains in the modified-cloverleaf layout of the ramps, a trait shared by most such interchanges on Kentucky's other parkways. The islands where the toll booths were mounted were removed, and the pavement at the interchange was smoothed over, although the rumble strips approaching the interchange from both directions remain as of July 2009.
During 2008, the former toll plaza office on the south side of the interchange was demolished.
Daviess County officials first proposed in 2005 that the Audubon be upgraded to an Interstate highway, specifically suggesting the number Interstate 369. This would, according to the proposal, take place when and if Interstate 69 is extended southward from Indianapolis through Evansville, Indiana and across the Ohio River near Henderson, Kentucky. The I-369 "spur" would connect Owensboro, Kentucky to I-69, which is to be routed along the following parkways (a new bridge will be built between Henderson and Evansville):
- The Edward T. Breathitt Pennyrile Parkway from the new bridge at Henderson southward to the
- Wendell H. Ford Western Kentucky Parkway to Interstate 24, then west to the
- Julian M. Carroll Purchase Parkway, which it would follow to Tennessee.
The Audubon would have to be significantly upgraded in order for it to be approved as an Interstate highway; specifically, the shoulders would need to be widened and the median would have to either be widened or have a safety barrier constructed along its entire 24-mile (39 km) length. Any of these changes would be very expensive. However, it would not be unheard of for the Audubon, or any of the other parkways proposed as Interstates above, to be "grandfathered" into the Interstate system by the issuance of a waiver; it has been done before, with such roads as the Kansas Turnpike, Pennsylvania Turnpike and others which do not (or did not at the time) meet the minimum Interstate standards.
The Audubon Parkway became a High Priority Interstate Corridor, referred to as the "Future Interstate Route 69 Spur" in the SAFETEA-LU Technical Corrections Act of 2008 which became Public Law 110-244 on June 6, 2008. New "Future I-69 Spur" Signs were placed on the parkway on September 2008.
|Henderson||Henderson||0.000||0.000||0||I-69 / US 41 / Pennyrile Parkway – Henderson, Madisonville||Western terminus and signed as exits 0A (north) and 0B (south); Pennyrile Parkway exit 77|
|||5.389||8.673||5||KY 1078 – Zion||Constructed in 1986|
|Hebbardsville||10.175||16.375||10||KY 416 – Niagara, Hebbardsville||Former toll plaza; original exit|
|Daviess||||18.043||29.037||18||KY 1554 – Stanley, Sorgho||Constructed in 1986|
US 60 Byp. – Owensboro, Hawesville
|Eastern terminus and signed as exits 24A (south) and 24B (north); US 60 Bypass exit 10|
|1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi
- "Kentucky Transportation Cabinet — Division of Planning — Highway Information System Official Milepoint Route Log Extract". Archived from the original on 30 April 2007. Retrieved 2007-04-08.