Last week Governor Matt Bevin submitted his recommended 6-year Highway Plan to the General Assembly.
Included in the $6 billion state and federally funded plan are two projects of particular interest to McCreary County residents: the continuation of the new KY 92 project, and a bridge replacement.
While the plan has to be approved by the legislature, it is expected that any finalized plan would include the KY 92 funding, since construction is ready to proceed this year.
The construction will cover approximately 4 miles: from 1,450 feet west of KY 592 in Whitley County to 350 feet East of the McCreary County line.
The only other McCreary County project listed in the plan is the replacement of a bridge over Rock Creek on Old Fidelity Bell Farm Road.
According to the proposed plan the $920,000 project would not enter the design phase until 2019, followed by right of way clearance and utility relocation in 2020 and construction slated in 2022.
In the Governor’s plan bridges are a major concern.
He noted that many of the 14,000 bridges the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet are responsible for have been ignored. The bridges are safe for traffic, but require extra maintenance funding, weight limits and other restrictions to maintain safe travel.
To that end he is asking for no less than 15 percent of the state highway dollars be allocated to the preservation and maintenance of those structures.
“This plan provides a common sense approach to prioritizing our infrastructure needs over the next few years,” said Gov. Bevin. “We must be accountable to our citizens by investing in transportation projects that promote safety and economic opportunity.”
Lower gas prices have impacted the state Road Fund, meaning lawmakers will have nearly $1 billion less to work with over the next six years.
Also included in the road plan is funding to expand I 75 to six lanes in Rockcastle County at an estimated cost of $855,000.
The Governor’s plan can be viewed online at http://transportation.ky.gov/Program-Management/Pages/2016-Recommended-Highway-Plan.aspx.