Mayor Alan Keck announced Thursday night that the City of Somerset has been awarded $2,089,600.00 by the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet through the Commonwealth's Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) which provides funding for infrastructure primarily through sidewalk improvements.
This grant funding will be part of a $2.6 million investment in what has been coined the "Connect Somerset" project. Connect Somerset is a project that will create safe walking connections and accessibility through pedestrian facility improvements throughout the City of Somerset. This project will effectively connect downtown Somerset to Somerset Community College along Old Monticello Road; the project will also connect Lake Cumberland Regional Hospital and Med Park along Hail Knob Road to Ky. 80. The goal of Connect Somerset is making education and healthcare more accessible to residents of Somerset.
"Connect Somerset is a key initiative for us as we expand and improve our city infrastructure. Connecting our downtown to the college, our business district on US 27 and improving walkability in our quickly growing medical district is vital for growth and opportunity. I am very grateful to Gov. (Matt) Bevin, Secretary (Greg) Thomas, and all our local legislators who vouched for and encouraged this wonderful project. Their support is truly essential to our vision for a better Somerset, and I am proud that they believe in our vision for this community," stated Mayor Keck.
"I'm elated at the news of the Connect Somerset grant announcement and commend Mayor Keck for his leadership and vision. This tremendous project will improve the overall quality of life for our citizens through helping to increase downtown revitalization, walkability, health and wellness, and overall employability of our citizens whom may not be able to afford transportation. Connecting downtown to The Center, Somerset Community College, medical facilities and Highway 27 is a major step in the right direction towards increased connectivity for our community. SPEDA is honored to have played a small part in this endeavor and I want to thank Governor Bevin, Transportation Secretary Greg Thomas, along with our State legislators for all of their support and encouragement," added Chris Girdler, President & CEO of SPEDA.
Connect Somerset was 1 of 42 projects chosen as a part of an overall investment of $16.6 million statewide. The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet initiated these grants to support safe connections and accessibility through sidewalk improvements for the general pedestrian, children and disabled populations.