A road that's been on the drawing board for over 40 years is now a reality.

The new four-lane U.S. 231 through Spencer County, Ind. opened Tuesday following an afternoon ribbon-cutting ceremony attended by Gov. Mitch Daniels and Holiday World matriarch Pat Koch, among other dignitaries. Koch's late husband, Bill Koch, who died in 2001, and late son, Will, were driving forces behind the construction of the new road.

Indiana's five-year-old "Major Moves" program, funded through the long-term lease of the Indiana Toll Road across northern Indiana, paid for the nearly $150 million cost of the 22-mile-long highway, which now connects Owensboro and Rockport to Interstate 64.

First proposed in the mid-1960s, the new road replaces a winding, hilly two-lane stretch that had seen numerous accidents and increased traffic over the years.

Dubbed the Abraham Lincoln Memorial Parkway, the new 231 is a part of what is being called the "I-64 to I-65 corridor," opening up easier travel and hope for additional economic development. The final portion of that corridor, Kentucky's U.S. 60/U.S. 231 extension northeast of Owensboro, is scheduled for completion sometime in 2013.

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