I want to congratulate the Missouri Department of Transportation for making sure fewer dollars stretch farther, particularly with the U.S. 61/Avenue of the Saints project.
As a board member of the Bowling Green Chamber of Commerce, I was interviewed this week by a Pittsburgh consulting firm that’s looking at how communities along the road from St. Paul to St. Louis have been impacted by a four-lane freeway in their backyards.
The impact on Bowling Green since 1995 has been tremendously positive.
• Almost 3,600 more vehicles a day enter Bowling Green now compared with then.
• Sales tax receipts have almost tripled.
• Major retailers have opened and smaller businesses have expanded.
• The number of visitors has picked up with the addition of an Amish tour and major upgrades to the Champ Clark Honey Shuck museum.
• A men’s prison has opened, schools have built new facilities, the city has completed infrastructure improvements, subdivisions have been added, parks have been upgraded and an airport master plan has been put into place.
• Marketing efforts have expanded. The Pike County Economic Development Authority was formed just three years before the four lane came through, but has enjoyed its greatest successes since then.
With the prospect of a new Mississippi River bridge at Louisiana, a port authority and an upgraded U.S. Highway 54, the possibilities will be endless, and Bowling Green can continue living up to its motto of “Rising With the Future.”   

Brent Engel
Bowling Green
Chamber of Commerce