The tidy sum of $4 million will be coming Pulaski County’s way after being included in the federal transportation budget by Congressman Hal Rogers — earmarked for projects which stand to change the look of the county in a profound way.

“Each of these ongoing projects is important to the longer-term vitality of Pulaski County,” promised Rogers, the influential U.S. Representative hailing from Somerset.

Seeing the lion’s share of the money is the Interstate-66 project, which will receive $2.5 million in federal allotment. Construction of the northern bypass connector to I-66 will see $1 million included in the bill, while another $1.5 million is set for continued development of the I-66 corridor between Somerset and London.

Additionally, Rogers secured another $500,000 for I-66 development in Pike County. Rogers has secured $70 million in I-66 funding since 1998.

“Interstate-66 will provide a safe link to communities in southern and eastern Kentucky, many of which currently have limited access to major highways,” Rogers said in a recent press release.

Another $1 million has been obtained for the acquisition of additional land at the Somerset Airport, where Rogers has directed nearly $14 million in federal money over the last five years.

Also, $500,000 will go toward revitalization efforts in downtown Somerset, a cause which has seen $7.85 million the last five years thanks to Rogers’ efforts.

The 2007 federal budget for the U.S. Department of Transportation, which includes the above projects, was approved by the U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday, June 14. The bill includes $470 for the Appalachian Highway Development System, designed to improve the health of highways in the region — $68.5 million of which is marked for Kentucky.

“It is well-documented that the vast majority of traffic-related deaths in Kentucky occur on rural, non-Interstate roads,” said Rogers. “Improving our highway system is absolutely critical to saving lives and protecting the traveling public.”

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