FRANKFORT, Ky. — Pulaski County is slated to receive funding for several road projects under the state road budget passed by the House Appropriations and Revenue Committee, according to Speaker Pro-Tempore, David Meade, R-Stanford, Representative Ken Upchurch, R-Monticello, Representative Tommy Turner, R-Somerset and Representative Jeff Hoover, R-Jamestown.
“I am extremely pleased as Chairman of the Transportation Committee to share this news and glad that we were able to get these projects into the road budget. Every dollar we spend on roads and infrastructure is an investment in our communities” Upchurch said. “Safe, reliable transportation is critical to public safety and quality of life.”
Projects in the community include:
• Improve safety by widening KY-461 from KY-80 to Buck Creek Bridge, including interchange at KY-80
• Reconstruction to improve safety and mobility along KY-39 between KY-80 and Oak Leaf
• Construct a connector between North Middle School and Pulaski High School
• Reduce congestion and improve safety, capacity and mobility along KY-90 between Wayne County line and New Cumberland River Bridge
The biggest project included in the road plan is $500,000 for the upgrading of the Cumberland Parkway for entry into the federal highway system as a spur of I-65. According to Chris Girdler, President and CEO of the Somerset-Pulaski Economic Development Authority (SPEDA), this is a much needed project for Pulaski County.
“The creation of an Interstate 65 spur connecting Somerset to I-65 in Bowling Green would have a tremendous regional impact,” Girdler said. “As the Capital of Lake Cumberland, Somerset and Pulaski County would be able to have direct access to a major interstate and the Cumberland Parkway would receive official interstate standard designations. This is the first step to allow the entire Lake Cumberland region to move forward and enjoy the economic benefits that comes from joining the two major interstates of I-65 and I-75.”
The I-65 spur project is the initial piece of a larger vision to increase Somerset-Pulaski County’s economic development viability. Once the Cumberland Parkway is recognized as an interstate spur between I-65 and Somerset, the opportunity exists to extend the highway 32 miles to London to connect with I-75.
“We also want to thank 5th District Congressman Hal Rogers for his leadership and vision on this plan from the federal level,” added Upchurch. “There is no doubt this will have a great and lasting impact on the Lake Cumberland area. Without Hal’s involvement it would not have been possible.”
“We all know that jobs go where roads take them, but this project is about even more than that. It’s about our quality of life, it’s about opening our region up to new opportunities,” Meade declared. “Our community is already a great place to live and work, and an I-65 spur will build on that tremendously.”
Kentucky state road funds are raised through the motor fuels tax (commonly called the gas tax), motor vehicle usage tax, vehicle and boat registration, motor vehicle operator’s licenses, tolls, and interest.
“Roads are the backbone of a strong economy. They link our rural areas with our cities and towns and allow us to enjoy a good quality of life,” Turner stated. “They open up opportunities for economic development and education, bringing the world to our door.”
“Roads are so important in a state like ours, where almost half of our population lives in rural area. They open up opportunities for economic development and education, bringing the world to our door,” Hoover added.