Opening of construction bids to four-lane U.S. 27 from Norwood Road in Science Hill to Ky. 70 at Eubank has been delayed until late this year.

Joe Cox, 8th District design engineer, said state highway engineers in a meeting last week moved the bid-opening date for the section between Norwood Road and Ky. 452 (Bull Road) to October 27. The contract section between Ky. 452 and Ky. 70 was moved to a December opening date. Several tentative bid-opening dates have been set and reset during the past couple of years for various reasons, including utility relocation and right-of-way problems.

Work has been under way for more than a year on the U.S. 27 widening project. Bizzack Inc., a Lexington contracting firm, has a $31,885,482.99 contract to four-lane a 4.8-mile section of U.S. 27 from about Clifty Road in northern Somerset to Norwood Road in Science Hill.

Bill Chaney, resident engineer for the project, said the first section is about 50 percent complete. An I-66 interchange, eventually a part of a proposed northern bypass of Somerset, is being constructed in conjunction with the initial U.S. 27 expansion and is part of Bizzack’s contract.

Relocation and widening of U.S. 27 from Somerset to Norwood Road and the I-66 interchange are scheduled to be complete late in 2007, according to Chaney.

He said contractors expect to move traffic onto two lanes of new U.S. 27 from Ky. 1247 to Norwood Road by the end of this year. Hinkle Contracting Corporation will begin paving the two new lanes along this section by the first of July, Chaney said.

On the southern end of the U.S. 27 project, orange barrels have diverted motorists slightly westward onto the existing southbound lane (now two lanes) near the Clifty Road intersection to make way for water and sewer line relocation, Chaney said. Once utilities are relocated, traffic will be moved back to the northbound lanes and construction will begin on two additional lanes for four-lane U.S. 27.

As part of the I-66 project, paving is expected to begin soon on the bridge that will take the relocated Clifty Road above the northern bypass (I-66). Traffic is expected to begin using the new Clifty Road bridge early in July, Chaney said.

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