Commonwealth Journal

News Live

April 15, 2014

State road plan haggling won’t hinder bypass widening

Somerset —

Whatever happens in Frankfort during the hassle to get a two-year road plan before the end of the day Tuesday will not affect the widening of the eastern end of Ky. 914 (southeastern bypass).
“Not at all,” said Amber Hale, information officer for the Kentucky Department of Highways’ District 8. “That project is under contract.”
Brian Wilkerson, spokesman for House Speaker Greg Stumbo, said yesterday afternoon there is optimism a two-year road plan compromise between the House and Senate would be hammered out before the current General Assembly session ended last night. Wilkerson, like Hale, said whatever happens would have no effect on the Ky. 914 project.
Hinkle Contracting Corporation of Somerset and Paris, and American Engineering, a Glasgow-based engineering firm, has a $15,533,782.88 contract to widen to four lanes a 3 1/2 mile section of Ky. 914 from the intersection with Rush Branch Road to Ky. 80 east of Somerset.
Actual construction on the project has not started. “We’re getting permits together ... and we’ve cut some trees,” said Greg Howard, a Hinkle vice president. “We’ve got to get started as quickly as possible,” he noted.   
Completion time, according to Hinkle’s design-build proposal, is June 26, 2015, about two months earlier than the August date in the Transportation Cabinet’s specifications.
  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.

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