A survey crew from American Engineering was surveying the eastern end of the southeastern bypass (Ky. 914) Thursday prior to starting construction to widen to four lanes the existing two lanes of the highway.
Hinkle Contracting Corporation of Somerset and Paris and the Glasgow-based engineering firm were awarded a $15,533,782.88 contract Monday to widen the road.
“(We) are going to start really, really quickly ... it’s a short time schedule,” said a Hinkle spokesman. 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 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 purch-ased 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.
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.
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.
Bruce Neely, chief engineer in the Highway Department’s District 8, said this is the second time in this district 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.