The path of the new southwestern bypass is already becoming visible as heavy equipment has begun to move earth from U.S. 27 westward toward the Oak Hill community.

The new bypass will have four 12-foot driving lanes separated by a depressed median and with 12-foot shoulders on each side. The section under construction joins U.S. 27 directly across from existing Ky. 914 (southeastern bypass) and will be designated Ky. 914. The road will have partial access, meaning exits and entrances will be at least 1,200 feet apart.

The 2.65-mile section of the southwestern bypass under construction is the southern end of the new road. Being built by Hinkle Contracting Corporation of Paris and Somerset, it extends from U.S. 27 on the north side of Beacon Hill Baptist Church to near the Oak Hill-WTLO Road intersection.

David Beattie, branch manager for preconstruction for the Kentucky Department of Highways’ District 8, said the southern half of the southwestern bypass should be completed late in 2008. Hinkle, the only bidder on the project, has a contract to build the road for $20,289,060.51.

Bids are tentatively scheduled to be opened in November for the second contract section of the southwestern bypass. The 2.46 miles of roadway will extend from near the Oak Hill-WTLO Road intersection to and across Ky. 80 just east of Family Dollar Store at Saline; then northwesterly to the Cumberland Parkway just west of where Hacker Road goes beneath the parkway. Here it will join the northern bypass, a section of I-66 scheduled for completion this fall.

Beattie said most of the right-of-way for the northern section of the southwestern bypass has been purchased and utility relocation has started.

The northern bypass will extend from the southwestern bypass at Cumberland Parkway easterly to an interchange with four-lane U.S. 27, now under construction. From here, it will extend easterly, eventually joining Ky. 80 about a mile and a half west of Ky. 461.

The first section of four-lane U.S. 27, from Clifty Road in northern Somerset to Norwood Road at Science Hill is scheduled to be completed this fall.

The second section of four-lane 27, from Norwood Road to Ky. 452 (Bull Road), is under construction. The third section, from Ky. 452 to Ky. 70 at Eubank, is scheduled for a June contract letting, according to Beattie.

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