by Bill Mardis
Eleven road projects in Pulaski County are included in the 2014 Kentucky Transportation Cabinet’s Six-Year Highway Plan, the most significant of which is widening to four-lanes the two-lane section of Ky. 914 between Rush Branch Road and East Ky. 80.
Traditionally, listing a road project in the Six-Year Plan is not assurance the project will be done. Money for road improvements must be appropriated from state and federal sources.
However, widening the southeastern bypass (Ky. 914) from approximately four-tenths of a mile west of Ky. 769 (Rush Branch Road intersection) east to Ky. 80 seems a “go” unless technical design proposals from design-build teams to be opened Friday in Frankfort are not submitted, or the proposals are way out of line.
“We do anticipate letting a (construction) contract for this project next month,” said Bruce Neely, chief District 8 engineer. Four-laning the approximately 3 1/2 miles of Ky. 914 should be expedited by right-of-way purchased when the highway was built during the 1990s. Estimated completion date for the $10 million roadway expansion is August 2015.
Another project apparently on track to be done is straightening “Mean S Curve” on Ky. 196 at White Oak Creek west of Nancy. Right of way acquisition and utility relocation are scheduled next year in the Six-Year Plan and construction is slated in 2016.
“We should see this project moving,” Neely said of eliminating the snakelike curve on Ky. 196 leading down to White Oak Creek from both directions. The project has been in several preceding Six-Year Plans and has been strongly encouraged by Helen and the late Ray Walters, well-known Nancy residents. A total of $1,660,000 is in the current Six-Year Plan to straighten the curve.
Three bridge replacements –– on Ky. 196 over Sputter Creek; on Ky. 1674 over Big Clifty Creek at Bethlehem Ridge; and on Glade Fork Road over Glade Fork Creek –– all are active projects, Neely said. Total estimates of slightly more than $2 million are in the Six-Year Plan to build the three bridges.
About $4.6 million are in the Six-Year Plan for environmental and reliability studies on the I-66 corridor from U.S. 27 to Ky. 80 at Barnesburg and then along a selected route through Shopville and Squib and across the Daniel Boone National Forest to join I-75 south of London near the weigh station.
Most of the right of way and utility relocation in the section east of U.S. 27 to Ky. 80 are funded and much of this work is completed. However, there is no construction money for 1-66 and none is foreseen at this time. Neely indicated.
Correcting rockfall hazards on Cumberland Parkway at Fishing Creek and on U.S. 27 at Stout Hill are still in the Transportation Cabinet’s Six-Year Plan. However, Neely didn’t seem to hold out much hope for a source of funding for these projects.
Also carried forward in the state’s Six-Plan are median safety improvements with left-turn lanes on U.S. 27 from .05 mile north of Lost Lodge Road to Boat Dock Road. Neely said the scope of this project is yet to be determined.
Already completed rehabilitation of pavement on Ky. 80 from Somerset to Ky. 461 remains in the Six-Year Plan