Commonwealth Journal

March 11, 2014

$15 million Ky. 914 contract award

Hinkle will widen eastern bypass to four lanes

by Bill Mardis
Commonwealth Journal

Somerset —

Hinkle Contracting Corporation, Somerset and Paris, and American Engineering, Glasgow, were awarded a $15,533,782.88 contract Monday to widen to four lanes the eastern half of southeastern bypass (Ky. 914), according to Bruce Neely, chief district engineer for the Kentucky Department of Highways’ District 8.
“We expect the work to begin immediately,” Neely said.
Completion time, according to Hinkle’s design-build proposal is June 26, 2015, about two months quicker than the August date in the Transportation Cabinet’s specifica-tions.
Four-laning the approximately 3 1/2 miles of Ky. 914 from near the Rush Branch Road intersection to Ky. 80 east of Somerset should be expedited by right-of-way purchased when the highway was built during the 1990s. The entire southeastern section of Ky. 914 is seven miles long, extending from U.S. 27 across from Beacon Hill Baptist Church southeasterly to Ky. 80. The western half of this section was built to accommodate four lanes of traffic and the eastern half is only two lanes wide.
Two new lanes will be constructed on the southern side  (the side away from Somerset) of the existing two lanes. The two new lanes will accommodate eastbound traffic and the two existing lanes will carry westbound traffic, Neely said. 
Included in the widening contract is construction of dual left-turn lanes for westbound vehicles on Ky. 80 turning onto Ky. 914. Adding another left-turn lane is to accommodate normally heavy Friday afternoon traffic headed to Lake Cumberland, Neely said.
  For the Ky. 914 widening project, technical design proposals were accepted from design-build teams made up of contractors and engineers. Price proposals from contractors were accepted separately. The contract award was based on weighed technical design and price proposals. Hinkle had the low bid.
  Neely said this is the second time in District 8 and the first time in Pulaski County that the design-build method has been used in a road construction project. “It (design-build) fast tracks the normal process by allowing the project to be designed as it is built,” he said.
  Widening the existing two-lane section of the southeastern bypass will completely encircle most of Somerset with four-lane highways –– Ky. 80 bypass on the north and the southeastern and southwestern bypasses (Ky. 914) on the east, south and west. 
 The relocated Cumberland Parkway (northern bypass) is a four-lane highway north of Ky. 80 that currently extends to U.S. 27 about two miles north of Somerset.
  Cumberland Parkway, beginning at I-65 north of Bowling Green, eventually will be designated as I-66. If money becomes available, I-66 will be extended from U.S. 27 to Ky. 80 at Barnesburg and then through Shopville, Stab and Squib and across Daniel Boone National Forest to I-75 south of London near the weigh station.