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January 2004

The items listed below are KentuckyRoads.com news items from January 2004. For the most recent updates see the KentuckyRoads.com home page.

[Commonwealth of Kentucky]
Former Governor Louie B. Nunn Dies
Posted: 30-Jan-2004 10:05PM CST

Former Governor Louie B. Nunn (1924-2004) died of heart failure yesterday, Thursday, January 29, 2004. He was 79. Gov. Nunn is remembered, among other things, for his contribution to the state's highway system. He proposed building roads connecting the state from east-to-west; during his term as governor from 1967-1971 more toll road bonds were issued to pay for highway construction than during the previous two administrations.

During his term of office, I-65, I-71, and I-75 were completed; a total of 585 miles of interstate highways were opened; and the Audubon Parkway and Daniel Boone Parkways were approved for construction. Additionally, planning work for the Cumberland Parkway and Green River Parkway (now Natcher Parkway) began.

More information: Courier-Journal: Former governor, force in GOP, dies (Jan. 30, 2004) [Outside Link], Associated Press: Highlights of Nunn's Term (Jan. 30, 2004) [Outside Link], Associated Press: Former Gov. Louie B. Nunn dead at 79 (Jan. 30, 2004) [Outside Link], Associated Press: GOP pioneer Nunn dead (Jan. 30, 2004) [Outside Link], Kentucky Post: Nunn legacy remembered here (Jan. 30, 2004) [Outside Link]

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[I-71] [I-75]
Preliminary Alternatives for Brent Spence Bridge Replacement Announced
Posted: 30-Jan-2004 10:05PM CST

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet has released a set of six preliminary corridors to examine during the study on how to best replace or rehabilitate the Brent Spence Bridge over the Ohio River in Northern Kentucky. All options include the construction of at least one new bridge and many would separate I-71 traffic from I-75 traffic.

The Kentucky Post has maps of each of the six corridors under review: Option 1 [Outside Link], Option 2 [Outside Link], Option 3 [Outside Link], Option 4 [Outside Link], Option 5 [Outside Link], Option 6 [Outside Link]

Completion of the bridge project and other Northern Kentucky projects could be delayed due to state budge problems. Federal aid is key to completing the bridge project.

More information: Cincinnati Enquirer: Plans show options for Brent Spence (Jan. 30, 2004) [Outside Link], Cincinnati Enquirer: Brent Spence Bridge replacement (Jan. 30, 2004) [Outside Link], Cincinnati Enquirer: Brent Spence replacement may force firms to close (Jan. 30, 2004) [Outside Link], Cincinnati Post: Bridge project options studied (Jan. 30, 2004) [Outside Link], Kentucky Post: Area road work hinges on feds (Jan. 30, 2004) [Outside Link]

Jan. 31 update: More information: Cincinnati Enquirer: Bridge backers race clock (Jan. 31, 2004) [Outside Link], Cincinnati Enquirer: Borgman cartoon [Outside Link] - Political cartoonist proposes his own options for replacing the Brent Spence Bridge

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[Commonwealth of Kentucky]
Gov. Fletcher Says Revised Tax Code Could Help Road Projects
Posted: 30-Jan-2004 10:04PM CST

Gov. Fletcher told 300 attendees of a transportation conference in Frankfort that he believes a revised state tax code would help fund road projects. He also said that road construction in Kentucky should focus on economic development.

More information: Associated Press: Fletcher: Tax overhaul could help airports (Jan. 30, 2004) [Outside Link], WAVE-3: Business Leaders Tell Governor Transportation Needs Must Be Met (Jan. 30, 2004) [Outside Link]

Update (Feb. 7, 2004): More information: Kentucky Transportation Cabinet: 26th Annual Kentucky Transportation Conference is a Huge Success (Feb. 4, 2004) [Outside Link]

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[US 431]
Immediate Improvements Slated for Muhlenberg County's Dead Man Curve
Posted: 29-Jan-2004 6:21PM CST

Gov. Ernie Fletcher has allocated $113,600 from the transportation contingency fund for improvements to a stretch of US 431 where three people of have died in accidents since May 2003.

More information: Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer: Immediate improvements slated for deadly curve (Jan. 29, 2004) [Outside Link]


From Kentucky Transportation Cabinet: Governor Fletcher Sends Funds to Fix “Dead Man’s Curve” in Muhlenberg County [Outside Link]:

Frankfort, Ky. - Using dollars from the transportation contingency fund, Governor Ernie Fletcher today provided $113,600 for some immediate improvements to a portion of US 431 south of Belton in Muhlenberg County known as “Dead Man’s Curve”.
“A safe and reliable transportation system in the Commonwealth is vital to Kentucky's future economic growth and overall quality of life,” stated Governor Fletcher. “I am pleased to provide funding for immediate improvements along this stretch of our state's highway because Kentucky must address our highway safety problems in order to provide travelers with the highest standards of safety and care.”
The stretch of road got its name from a recent rash of serious car crashes. Three people have been killed at the site since May of 2003. On January 8th, Governor Fletcher, along with Transportation Secretary Clay Bailey and legislators from the area met in the Governor’s Office with the Bobby Anderson family whose daughter was one of the crash victims. The Governor promised immediate action to improve safety on the roadway.
State Highway Engineer Mac Yowell visited the site on January 13th and soon after dispatched a State road crew to remove trees and a portion of the hill on the west side of the curve to improve visibility. The state will also widen the shoulders and when the weather warms this spring, add a new skid resistant surface.
Meantime, state engineers are developing a plan to completely redesign the dangerous curve. Federal funds are being used to pay for the redesign that is expected to be completed by this summer and barring any major delays reconstruction of the curve could be finished by summer of 2005.
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For more information contact Mark Pfeiffer at (502) 564-3419.

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[Commonwealth of Kentucky]
Burlington Hopes to Get Federal Transportation Money Now that Patton is No Longer Governor
Posted: 29-Jan-2004 6:21PM CST

The Northern Kentucky suburb of Burlington is applying for a state-controlled federal transportation grant to refurbish its sidewalks. Boone County Administrator Jim Parsons indicated that he believes the county's chances of being awarded the grant are improved this year now that Gov. Patton is no longer in office. Last year's grant money went to fund a study of Interstate 66 in Pike County, Gov. Patton's home county.

More information: Cincinnati Enquirer: Burlington seeks sidewalk help (Jan. 29, 2004) [Outside Link]

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[I-65]
State Legislator Plans Tourist Railway Between I-65 and Nelson County
Posted: 29-Jan-2004 6:20PM CST

State Representative Jodie Haydon, D-Bardstown, is attempting to develop a tourist railway between the Kentucky Railway Musuem in New Haven and Lebanon Junction off of I-65. Such a train faces a number of hurdles, including obtaining permission from CSX to use the line.

More information: (Bardstown) Kentucky Standard: Plans underway to develop potential tourist railway between county, I-65 (Jan. 28, 2004) [Outside Link]

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[US 41]
Henderson Bypass/Northern End of Pennyrile Parkway to be Repaved
Posted: 29-Jan-2004 6:20PM CST

This spring the northern end of the Pennyrile Parkway, which is also the US 41 Henderson Bypass, will be repaved at a cost $9.7 million.

More information: The (Henderson) Gleaner: Bypass repaving contract awarded (Jan. 28, 2004) [Outside Link]

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[US 68]
Mercer County to Rename Section of US 68
Posted: 29-Jan-2004 6:20PM CST
Topics: [US 68]

The Mercer County fiscal court will rename a section of US 68 in honor of the late Mercer County Judge-Executive Charles McGinnis who lost his battle with cancer in the fall.

More information: Danville Advocate Messenger: Mercer to rename section of U.S. 68 to honor McGinnis (Jan. 28, 2004) [Outside Link]

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[US 25E]
Cumberland Gap Tunnel Plans Lane Closures
Posted: 29-Jan-2004 6:20PM CST

The Cumberland Gap Tunnel Authority in the process of installing new variable message signs along the approaches to the tunnel and inside the tunnel itself. This week work will be underway to install new signs in the tunnel itself. There will be temporary lane closures in both directions. Motorists are asked to obey speed limit signs and be mindful of tunnel employees.

More information: Middlesboro Daily News: Tunnel plans lane closures this week (Jan. 26, 2004) [Outside Link]

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[I-71] [I-75]
Federal Funding Announced for Northern Kentucky Road Projects
Posted: 29-Jan-2004 6:19PM CST

The 2004 federal omnibus spending bill which was approved by the senate last week includes $2 million to continue funding for a study on how to replace the aging I-71/I-75 Brent Spence Bridge across the Ohio River and $1.5 million for a connector route between the AA Highway and I-275.

President Bush must still sign the bill.

More information: Cincinnati Post: Feds OK $2M for Brent Spence (Jan. 27, 2004) [Outside Link], Kentucky Post: $2M targeted to Brent Spence work (Jan. 27, 2004) [Outside Link]

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[Commonwealth of Kentucky]
Division of Driver Licensing Begins Move to New Transportation Cabinet Office Building
Posted: 29-Jan-2004 5:33PM CST

From Kentucky Transportation Cabinet: Division of Driver Licensing begins move to New Transportation Cabinet Office Building [Outside Link]:

FRANKFORT, KY (January 28, 2004)-The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, Division of Driver Licensing will begin moving into the new Transportation Cabinet Office Building next Monday, February 2, 2004. The move is expected to be complete by the close of business on Wednesday, February 4, 2004. During this period telephone access to various sections within the division will be sporadic. The Cabinet asks for your patience during the transition. Gary Brunker, Director, Division of Driver Licensing said, “We expect to be fully operational by Thursday, February 5th. In the meantime, we will do our best to provide uninterrupted service to our customers.”
The Division of Driver Licensing will be located on the 2nd floor of the new Transportation Cabinet Office Building, which is located at 200 Mero Street, Frankfort, Kentucky 40622. The telephone number will remain the same, (502) 564-6800, however the individual extensions will change. The new extensions will be provided at a later date.
"We’re very excited about the move into the new building,” Brunker added. “The new office building will greatly enhance the efficiency of the Division. With the new technology infrastructure in place, we will be able to provide the citizens of the Commonwealth with more efficient and timely service."
The new 425,000 square foot Transportation Cabinet Office Building features state of the art design and technology feature which will enhance the performance of the Cabinet. The new building is structured along the "Open Space, Open Mind" concept, which is designed to improve communication and production. In addition, the building is equipped with an advanced technological infrastructure which will aid employees in fulfilling their duties for many years to come.
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For more information contact Mark Pfeiffer at (502) 564-3419.

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[Commonwealth of Kentucky]
Lost art of hitchhiking is best left lost
Posted: 29-Jan-2004 5:27PM CST

Scott Burnside takes a look at why the hitchhiking is best considered a lost art in Kentucky New Era: Lost art of hitchhiking is best left lost (Jan. 26, 2004) [Outside Link].

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[Commonwealth of Kentucky]
5-1-1 is the Number to Call for Road Conditions
Posted: 29-Jan-2004 5:22PM CST

From Kentucky Transportation Cabinet: 5-1-1 is the Number to Call for Road and Weather Conditions [Outside Link]:

Frankfort, Kentucky (January 26, 2004)-Kentucky’s 511 traffic and travel information line got a real workout with the weekend’s wintry weather. On Sunday, January 25th, 32,880 calls were received by the service operated by the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet.
The line, launched in November of 2002, is an interactive voice recognition service that provides callers with accurate, useful and timely traffic, travel and road weather information, 24/7. Callers can request specific information on 8,217 miles of major Kentucky roadways. Information on accidents, construction areas, weather conditions and road closures allows motorists to make more informed choices for reaching their destination.
The call is free; however, roaming and airtime charges may apply on wireless calls. When traveling outside Kentucky, information on our highway system is available by calling 1-866-737-3767.
The 5-1-1 line averages about 56,780 calls per month. The all-time high call volume to date was logged on February 16, 2003 with 34,931 calls on that day.
The traffic and travel information is available by calling 5-1-1 or via the Web site at www.511.ky.gov [Outside Link]. The Web site is updated every 15 minutes, while the phone data can change each minute.

More information: Hardin County News-Enterprise: Serious crash comes as most roads are dry (Jan. 27, 2004) [Outside Link]

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[I-71] [I-75]
New ARTIMIS Signs To Be Installed in Northern Kentucky
Posted: 29-Jan-2004 5:08PM CST

Over the next few months the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet will extend the Advanced Regional Traffic Interactive Management & Information System—Greater Cincinnati.s intelligent traffic system—with the installation of three additional signs in Boone County. Two signs will be installed on I-71/I-75—one for the southbound lanes and one for the northbound lanes—and one is already in place on eastbound I-275 near the KY 237 exit.

More information: Cincinnati Enquirer: More road alerts on the way (Jan. 26, 2004) [Outside Link]

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[I-65]
University of Louisville to Undertake Traffic Study
Posted: 26-Jan-2004 2:38AM CST

The University of Louisville will undertake a $150,000 of traffic conditions around their Belknap Campus. Of primary concern are a low underpass on Third Street, traffic on Eastern Parkway, and improving access to the campus from I-65.

More information: Courier-Journal: U of L gives its $150,000 traffic study the green light (Jan. 25, 2004) [Outside Link]

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[Commonwealth of Kentucky]
Two Mapmakers Explore America Street-by-Street
Posted: 26-Jan-2004 2:38AM CST

The Cincinatti Enquirer reports the story of two mapmaker who work to develop maps traveling street-by-street: Cincinatti Enquirer: Mapmakers explore America (Dec. 2, 2003) [Outside Link]

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[I-69]
$6.2 Billion Federal Investment Required to Complete I-69 in Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas
Posted: 26-Jan-2004 2:38AM CST
Topics: [Interstate 69]

U.S. Rep. Don Young, R-Alaska, chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, told the I-69 Executive Committee that a $6.2 Billion Federal Investment would complete I-69 through Kentucky, Tennessee, and Arkansas; however, funding is currently in jeopardy due to Congress. failure to renew TEA-21. If TEA-21 is not renewed by Feb. 29, the reauthorization bill could be delayed another six months.

More information: Union City Messenger: Dyersburg mayor Lack of funding could derail I-69 (Jan. 22, 2004) [Outside Link]

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[Commonwealth of Kentucky]
Transportation Spending Included in Omnibus Spending Bill
Posted: 26-Jan-2004 2:38AM CST

The spending bill approved by Congress this past Thursday includes funding for a number of Kentucky projects including $9.8 for the Louisville-Southern Indiana Bridge Project (including money for right-of-way purchase), $2.5 million to replace TARC busses and trolleys in Louisville, and $1.5 million to reconstruct the intersection of KY 911 and KY 115 in Oak Grove.

More information: Courier-Journal: Louisville projects net $36 million (Jan. 23, 2004) [Outside Link], (Louisville) Business First: Louisville projects getting $36.16 million in federal funding (Jan. 22, 2004) [Outside Link], (Hopkinsville) Kentucky New Era: Senate OKs $1.5 million for Oak Grove road upgrades (Jan. 24, 2004) [Outside Link]

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[William H. Natcher Parkway]
Fletcher Promises to Remove Tolls from Natcher and Audubon Parkways
Posted: 26-Jan-2004 2:37AM CST

In a recent speech to the Owensboro Chamber Commerce, Gov. Ernie Fletcher reiterated a campaign process to remove tolls from the Natcher and Audubon Parkways.

More information: Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer: Fletcher pushes tech center (Jan. 23m 2004) [Outside Link]

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[Louisville - Jefferson County]
Motorists Ignore Jefferson County Road Closed Sign to Find: A Closed Road
Posted: 26-Jan-2004 2:37AM CST

For the past six months, motorists have ignored road closed signs on Dorsey Lane near LaGrange Road in eastern Jefferson County only to find that the road is, in fact, closed. On June 30, 2003, CSX Transportation closed the railroad crossing on Dorsey Lane; however, traffic still continues to try to cross there. In the process of turning around, motorists are destroying local resident Jim Weinert's driveway.

Weinert recently contacted CSX to see what could be done about the traffic situation.

More information: Courier-Journal: Hint to motorists: When sign says, 'Road Closed,' it is (Jan. 23, 2004) [Outside Link]

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[I-69]
Study Shows Traffic Would Be Light on I-69 Evansville Western By-pass Alternative
Posted: 23-Jan-2004 9:10AM CST

A study by the Evansville Urban Transportation Survey found that an interstate around the western edge of Evansville would cost $500 million and only carry 7,000 vehicles per day. It is assumed that a route the final preferred route between I-69 and the Breathitt Pennyrile Parkway will follow I-164 in Indiana before crossing into Henderson County east of the city of Henderson.

More information: Evansville Courier & Press: West Side interstate gets some bad news (Oct. 23, 2003) [Outside Link]

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[KY 3]
Boulder Blocks KY 3 in Lawrence County
Posted: 23-Jan-2004 9:10AM CST
Topics: [KY 3] [Lawrence County]

A rock fall blocked traffic on KY 3 in northern Lawrence County. Both lanes of traffic were closed while special equipment was used to break the boulder into smaller pieces for removal.

More information: Ashland Daily Independent: Boulder blocks stretch of Ky. 3 (Jan. 22, 2004) [Outside Link]

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[KY 313]
Former Radcliff Mayor Jennings Smith Dies
Posted: 23-Jan-2004 9:09AM CST

Former Radcliff Mayor Jennings Smith died last Sunday while on vacation in Florida. Smith, who served from 1990 to 1998, was a major force behind the construction of KY 313 which connected the city to I-65.

More information: Hardin County News-Enterprise: EDITORIAL: Jennings Smith never sought the spotlight, but his light shone brightly (Jan. 21, 2004) [Outside Link]

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[Audubon Parkway]
Owensboro Man Injured By Object Thrown Onto Audubon Parkway
Posted: 23-Jan-2004 9:09AM CST

An Owensboro man was injured around 1:00am Tuesday, Jan. 20 when an alternator thrown from the Kentucky 279 overpass on the Audubon Parkway crashed through his window. The Kentucky State Police Henderson Post is investigating the incident. Anyone with information is asked to call (270) 685-3927 or (270) 826-3312.

More information: Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer: Overpass incident injures driver (Jan. 21, 2004) [Outside Link]

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[US 23]
Pikeville, Pike County May Sue Over US 23 Chemical Spill
Posted: 20-Jan-2004 7:42AM CST
Topics: [Pike County] [US 23]

Leaders in Pikeville and Pike County are considering suing Quality Distribution over a chemical spill that closed US 23-the major corridor through the area-for an entire day in August. Pikeville and Pike County allege that Quality Distribution has failed to pay the amount that government agencies have requested for reimbursement.

More information: (Pikeville) Appalachian News-Express: City, county may sue over chemical spill (Jan. 19, 2004) [Outside Link]

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[KY 17]
Roebling Bridge Traffic Restricted to One-Way Through March
Posted: 20-Jan-2004 7:41AM CST

Due to construction along Cincinnati.s river front, the Roebling Suspension Bridge will be open only to south bound traffic through March. A detour for north bound travelers is marked.

More information: City of Covington: Roebling Suspension Bridge to be Temporarily Converted to One-Way Traffic [Outside Link]

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[KY 1120]
12th Street in Covington Likely to Be Widened, Not Renamed
Posted: 20-Jan-2004 7:41AM CST

12th street in Covington is still on schedule to be widened beginning in 2007; however, there has been little movement on efforts to rename the street in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The current six year highway plan calls for right-of-way acquisition for the widening project to begin next year.

Local NAACP leaders have called for the street to be renamed; however, opposition of local residents continues to be a problem. A city backed survey last year found that residents along the street overwhelmingly opposed the renaming.

More information: (Covington) Kentucky Post: Widening project on track (Jan. 19, 2004) [Outside Link], (Covington) Kentucky Post: Proposal to rename corridor stalled (Jan. 19, 2004) [Outside Link], (Covington) Kentucky Post: Survey: Keep 12th St. name (June 26, 2003) [Outside Link]

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[US 41]
Six Lanes of US 41A Open in Oak Grove
Posted: 20-Jan-2004 7:41AM CST

The US 41A Fort Campbell Boulevard widening project reached a major milestone with the recent opening of six lanes of traffic and continuous left turn lane between within the city of Oak Grove. Construction along the highway is still ongoing.

More information: (Hopkinsville) Kentucky New Era: 6 lanes open in Oak Grove (Jan. 14, 2004) [Outside Link]

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[US 60]
Union County Highway Safety Task Force Plans Major Effort in 2004
Posted: 20-Jan-2004 7:41AM CST
Topics: [KY 3393] [Union County] [US 60]

The Union County Highway Safety Task Force is planning several efforts to improve highway safety. Among the plans is a Health and Safety Fair to be held in May.

Many in Union County remain concerned about the new Morganfield bypass; however, statistics are said to show that there is nothing wrong with the road: many of the accidents on the road are due to drive inattention. The bypass has rumble strips and intersections have stop signs twice the size of normal stop signs.

More information: Union County Advocate: Highway safety task force (Jan. 14, 2004) [Outside Link]

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[US 231]
Despite Budget Problems, Three District 3 Projects Still on Track
Posted: 20-Jan-2004 7:41AM CST

Despite state budget problems, three road projects are still on track for construction this year. Paving and guardrail installation will be completed on about five miles of the US 231 reconstruction project in eastern Allen County, reconstruction of KY 101 between Chalybeate and US 31W will begin, and a bridge over Little Reedy Creek on KY 70 in Butler County will be replaced.

Kentucky receives about $500 million in federal funds for road projects each year; however, the state must provide matching funds for 20% of construction costs. These funds have been drained in recent years.

More information: Bowling Green Daily News: Work on three roads beginning; others in limbo (Jan. 18, 2004) [Outside Link]

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[The Ohio River]
Louisville Metro Councilman Proposes Southwest Jefferson Bridge
Posted: 18-Jan-2004 7:03PM CST

In addition to the two proposed new bridges in eastern Jefferson County, Louisville Metro Councilman Doug Hawkins is pushing for the construction of a bridge over the Ohio River in the western part of the county. The bridge would be two-lanes and would connect the Gene Snyder Freeway with either Cane Run Road or Indiana 111.

The environment impact study for the two proposed interstate bridges included a southwest bridge option; however, it concluded that traffic usage would not be high. A southwestern bridge would likely carry 14,000 cars per day compared to 68,000 for the easternmost proposed interstate bridge.

More information: Courier-Journal: Southwest Jefferson bridge proposed (Jan. 17, 2003) [Outside Link]

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[Commonwealth of Kentucky]
Kenton to Keysburg: A Road That Never Changes
Posted: 18-Jan-2004 7:02PM CST

Kentucky New Era writer describes her trip along a stretch of road in Todd and Logan Counties that she claims is much the same it was 30 years ago: (Hopkinsville) Kentucky New Era: Trenton to Keysburg: A road that never changes (Jan. 16, 2004) [Outside Link]

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[Ironton-Russell Brudge]
Ironton-Russell Bridge May Be Closed Due to Cold Weather
Posted: 18-Jan-2004 7:02PM CST

The Ohio Department of Transportation has once again this year announced that if temperatures drop below -5 degrees Fahrenheit, the Ironton-Russell Bridge will be closed until warmer weather returns.

More information: Ashland Daily Independent: Ironton Russell Bridge may close (Jan. 16, 2004) [Outside Link]

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[US 31E]
US 31E Between Bardstown and Louisville Noted for High Accident Rate
Posted: 18-Jan-2004 7:02PM CST

The Kentucky Standard reports that three spots along US 31E in Nelson County are receiving attention due to a high accident rate: High Grove, Gobel Lake Curve and Hibbs Lane accounted for more than 60% of the accident reported along that US 31E north of Bardstown. US 31E through the area is a two-lane road that is much the same as it was originally constructed back in the 1920s.

The Transportation Cabinet plans to reconstruct part of the road between Nazerth and the Salt River; however, construction has been delayed due to historic sites along the route. Construction on the $100 million project is slated to begin in 2008.

One site on US 62 in Nelson County was also noted for a high accident rate.Dump Hill.

More information: (Bardstown) Kentucky Standard: Four spots becoming most dangerous roads in Nelson County (Jan. 16, 2004) [Outside Link]

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[New Route]
KYTC Posts New Information Regarding Proposed Harlan-Hazard Connector
Posted: 16-Jan-2004 8:14AM CST

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet Division of Planning has posted new information regarding a proposed new route connecting Harlan and Hazard. The material includes two maps of the area under consideration.

More information: KYTC Division of Planning: Harlan to Hazard Connector [Outside Link]

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[I-71] [I-75]
Greater Cincinnati Promotes Need for New Bridge
Posted: 16-Jan-2004 8:13AM CST

Cincinnati area leaders are attempting to promote the benefits of building a new bridge across the Ohio River to replace the aging Brent Spence Bridge. A replacement is expected to cost $750 million; however, local leaders feel the benefits of such a bridge would far out way the costs.

More information: Kentucky Post: Worth $750 million? (Jan. 15, 2004) [Outside Link]

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[I-65]
Bowling Green Leaders Mull Plans for Outer Loop, I-66, TransPark
Posted: 16-Jan-2004 8:13AM CST

A new I-65 interchange for the Kentucky Tri-Modal Transpark, an Outer Loop around Bowling Green, and construction of I-66 are among plans discussed by Bowling Green leaders following a Citizen.s Summit last November.

More information: Bowling Green Daily News: Development city officials. main focus for coming years (Jan. 15, 2004) [Outside Link]

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[US 431]
Muhlenberg County's "Dead Man's Curve" May Be Fixed Soon
Posted: 16-Jan-2004 12:03AM CST

Muhlenberg County Judge-Executive Rodney Kirtley met with state transportation officials this week and believes that work may soon start to replace the stretch of US 431 known as “Dead Man's Curve.” Design work will be carried out in the Madisonville office instead of Frankfort; this should decrease the amount of time required to complete the project. Three motorists have died in accidents at this curve since May.

More information: Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer: Kirtley: State says work on deadly curve should start soon (Jan. 14, 2004) [Outside Link] (free registration required)

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[Kentucky's New License Plate]
Several Bills Propose Replacing Smiley License Plate
Posted: 16-Jan-2004 12:03AM CST

During the first week of 2004 General Assembly, several bills were offered to replace the “Mr. Smiley” license plate. Bills range from new plate proposals to offering decals to place over the smiley face.

The Herald-Leader reporter points out that though many have obscured the smiley face on their own it is illegal to alter a license plate.

More information: Lexington Herald-Leader: Bills offered to alter, get rid of 'Mr. Smiley' (Jan. 10, 2004) [Outside Link]

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[US 31E]
Site Feature: Mount Washington's US 31EX
Posted: 6-Jan-2004 8:20AM CST

Signage at the intersection of US 31E and US31EX south of Mount Washington.

Mount Washington is home to a bit of signing oddity: instead of the old route of US 31E being marked "Business US 31E" it is marked as "US 31EX." Photos of this oddly signed route can be found here.

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[The Ohio River]
Prospect Launches Self-Promotion Campaign
Posted: 6-Jan-2004 6:50AM CST

The northeastern Jefferson County suburb of prospect will promote itself during a year-long .We Love Prospect. campaign. The city hopes to use its proximity to a proposed Ohio River bridge to attract new residents.

More information: Courier-Journal: Prospect prepares PR blitz to counter bridge publicity (Dec. 22, 2003) [Outside Link]

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[Kentucky's New License Plate]
State Senator Proposes Replacing License Plate
Posted: 6-Jan-2004 6:50AM CST

State Senator Gary Tapp has proposed replacing the new smiling sun license plate with a plate of his own design. He has submitted a bill for consideration during the 2004 General Assembly. Tapp has a designed a replacement plate featuring the national and state flags along with the phrase "in God we trust."

More information: Shelbyville Sentinel News: Sun could set on 'Smiley' license plate (Dec. 18, 2003) [Outside Link]

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[KY 16]
KY 16 Widening in Kenton County May Begin This Year
Posted: 6-Jan-2004 6:49AM CST
Topics: [Kenton County] [KY 16]

Plans to widen part of KY 16 in southern Kenton County are progressing. Work should begin with year with completion of the 4.2-mile project in 2009.

More information: Kentucky Post: Views differ on plan to widen Ky. 16 (Dec. 16, 2003) [Outside Link]

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[Commonwealth of Kentucky]
Blues to Bluegrass Scenic Byway
Posted: 6-Jan-2004 6:49AM CST

The Kentucky Transportation and Tourism Interagency Committee recently approved a scenic byway through Daviess, Hancock, Ohio, Muhlenberg, McLean, Webster, Union and Henderson counties that will highlight the region.s music heritage.

More information: Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer: Scenic byway will feature musical legends (Dec. 12, 2003) [Outside Link]

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[KY 2541]
Locals Step Up Efforts to Save Greenup Bridge
Posted: 6-Jan-2004 6:49AM CST

Local residents have stepped up efforts to save a one-lane bridge over the mouth of the Little Sandy River. The bridge, built in 1884, was recently closed after it was deemed unsafe for traffic. The transportation cabinet plans to demolish the bridge and replace the span later in 2004.

More information: Ashland Daily Independent: Effort to save bridge gets into high gear (Dec. 11, 2003) [Outside Link]

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[KY 69]
State Considers Changes to Hawesville Bridge Approach
Posted: 6-Jan-2004 6:49AM CST

Transportation officials held a meeting in December to consider changing the approach to the Bob Cummings-Lincoln Trail Bridge in Hawesville. Any changes are not scheduled for construction in the current Six Year Plan; however, locals hope a lobbying campaign will move the project higher up the state.s list of priorities.

More information: Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer: State mulls changes in Hawesville bridge approach (Dec. 12, 2003) [Outside Link], KYTC Division of Planning: KY-69 approach to Cannelton Bridge [Outside Link], Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer: Road proposal draws residents' concerns (Dec. 19, 2003) [Outside Link]

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[I-471]
I-471 Speed Limit Raised to 65 MPH
Posted: 6-Jan-2004 6:48AM CST

Speed limits on I-471 have been raised from 55 MPH to 65 MPH. The move makes the highway.s speed limit consistent with the speed limit on I-275. This consistency is believed to make the road safer for travelers.

More information: Kentucky Post: I-471 speed limit raised to 65 mph (Dec. 9, 2003) [Outside Link]

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[William H. Natcher Bridge]
Natcher Bridge Traffic Lower Than Expected
Posted: 6-Jan-2004 6:48AM CST

The four-lane Natcher Bridge currently serves only 4,500 vehicles per day while the two-lane Grover Carey Bridge in Owensboro serves 10,000 vehicles per day and the two-lane Bob Cummings-Lincoln Trail Bridge at Hawesville serves 8,900 vehicles per day; however, transportation officials expect traffic on the bridge to increase once an extension of the Owensboro bypass is completed and US 231 is widened to four lanes in Indiana.

More information: Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer: Traffic count expected to rise (Dec. 7, 2003) [Outside Link], Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer: U.S. 231 widening moving forward (Dec. 14, 2003) [Outside Link]

Jan. 15, 2004 Update: Courier-Journal: New bridge has less traffic than projected (Jan. 13, 2004) [Outside Link]

Jan. 20, 2004 Update: The (Henderson) Gleaner: Study: Natcher Bridge traffic light (Jan. 13, 2004) [Outside Link]

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[The Ohio River]
Kennedy Bridge Painting May Resume
Posted: 6-Jan-2004 6:48AM CST

Work to repaint the I-65 Kennedy Bridge over the Ohio River may soon resume. The transportation cabinet plans to let bids for the project this month.

Work to repaint the bridge was stopped in October of 2001 after it was revealed that a transportation cabinet bridge inspector was soliciting bribes from contractors who were paining the bridge.

More information: Courier-Journal: Kennedy Bridge work may resume (Dec. 6, 2003) [Outside Link], Associated Press: Bridge-painting, stopped after bribery scandal, may get jump-start (Dec. 6, 2003) [Outside Link]

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[The Ohio River]
Kentucky, Indiana Form Plan to Encourage Minority Involvement in Ohio River Bridges Project
Posted: 6-Jan-2004 6:47AM CST

Transportation officials from Kentucky and Indiana have adopted a plan to encourage minority-owned business involvement in the construction of two new interstate bridges over the Ohio River at Louisville.

More information: Business First: Kentucky, Indiana form plan to help businesses participate in bridges project (Dec.5, 2003) [Outside Link]

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[Commonwealth of Kentucky]
Retired Air Force General Maxwell Clay Bailey Appointed New Transportation Cabinet Secretary
Posted: 6-Jan-2004 6:47AM CST

Newly elected Governor Ernie Fletcher has appointed retired Air Force General Maxwell Clay Bailey as the new secretary of the Transportation Cabinet. Bailey, who currently lives in Paris, is a 1965 graduate of Paintsville High School and a 1969 graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy.

More information: Herald-Leader: Transportation head announced (Dec. 4, 2003) [Outside Link], Courier-Journal: Ex-general likely to lead state road operations (Dec. 4, 2003) [Outside Link], Courier-Journal: General will lead Transportation Cabinet (Dec. 5, 2003) [Outside Link]

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[US 27]
Inspector: Somerset Bypass Route Change Legitimate
Posted: 6-Jan-2004 6:47AM CST

A report from a Transportation Cabinet inspector finds that a modification made to the route of the proposed southwest Somerset bypass was legitimate. Late in the planning, the route was shifted to the west where it would pass through land owned by brothers Doug and Guy Jones, both of whom were officials in the cabinet. The brothers later resigned.

The report finds that the brothers resigned due to other reasons and that the change was a valid change.

More information: Lexington Herald-Leader: Bypass route change legitimate, official says (Dec. 4, 2003) [Outside Link]

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[I-66]
Rogers Announces Federal Transportation Funding for Kentucky
Posted: 6-Jan-2004 6:47AM CST

U.S. Representative Hal Rogers announced in December that a significant amount of transportation funding had been secured for Kentucky. Projects include $20 million for Kentucky's Appalachian Regional Corridor highways, $1.5 million for I-75 widening in Rockcastle County, $1 million for reconstruction of 7 miles of the Hal Rogers Parkway, and $8.5 million for I-66 in Pike County and Pulaski County.

More information: WYMT Mountain News: Rogers Announces Funding for I-66, Other Kentucky Transportation Priorities (Dec. 3, 2003) [Outside Link]

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[Louisville - Jefferson County]
Oak Street Interchange Open in Louisville
Posted: 6-Jan-2004 6:46AM CST

Work to construct a diamond interchange at 9th Street and Oak Street in Louisville has been completed.

More information: Courier-Journal: Oak Street interchange set to open tomorrow (Dec. 2, 2003) [Outside Link]

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[Louisville - Jefferson County]
Federal Money Earmarked to Study Big Four Bridge
Posted: 6-Jan-2004 6:46AM CST

U.S. Representative Ann Northup secured $750,000 in federal funding for a Corps of Engineers study on converting the abandoned Big Four railroad bridge in downtown Louisville to a pedestrian walkway connecting Louisville and Jeffersonville, Indiana.

More information: Associated Press: More federal money earmarked for Ohio River bridge study (Dec. 1, 2003) [Outside Link], Courier-Journal: Big Four study gains $750,000 (Dec. 1, 2003) [Outside Link], Associated Press: Bridge remains a monument to dead workers (Dec. 23, 2003) [Outside Link]

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[US 68]
Paris Pike Special Treatment Not Feasible for All Projects
Posted: 6-Jan-2004 6:46AM CST

The Herald-Leader reports that the special treatment received by the Paris Pike widening project is not feasible for all projects. The project had been stopped by court injunctions and only allowed to proceed after the Transportation Cabinet developed a plan designed to preserve the historic nature of the corridor. This raised the price of the project considerably, and is the main reason why not all projects will receive similar treatment. The widening project cost around $4.5 million per mile, nearly twice the cost of similar projects in the state.

The award winning $93 million widening project between Lexington and Paris was completed during the week of Nov. 30, 2003.

More information: Lexington Herald-Leader: What Paris Pike has: money and power (Nov. 30, 2003) [Outside Link], Lexington Herald-Leader: Having Taken The High Road (Nov. 30, 2003) [Outside Link], Associated Press: Restructured Paris Pike getting good reviews for design (Nov. 30, 2003) [Outside Link], Lexington Herald-Leader: Bourbon County Down The Road (Dec. 1, 2003) [Outside Link]

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[US 119]
US 119 Ground Breaking on "Paul Patton Day" in Pike County
Posted: 6-Jan-2004 6:45AM CST

Ground breaking for the last section of the US 119 widening project in Pike County was celebrated as .Paul Patton Day. on Nov. 22, 2003 to honor the former governor.s contributions to Eastern Kentucky highway projects.

More information: WKYT: It's "Paul Patton Day" in Pike County (Nov. 22, 2003) [Outside Link], Lexington Herald-Leader: In Pike County, they came to praise Patton (Nov. 23, 2003) [Outside Link]

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[Louisville - Jefferson County]
Jefferson Boulevard Extension Opens
Posted: 6-Jan-2004 6:45AM CST

A 1.5-mile extension of Jefferson Boulevard between Outer Loop and Poplar Level Road in Jefferson County opened November paving the way for new developments in the area.

More information: Courier-Journal: New road paves way for Okolona business park (Nov. 21, 2003) [Outside Link]

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[KY 2168]
KYTC Studies Danville Northeast Connector Route
Posted: 6-Jan-2004 6:44AM CST

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet Division of Planning is conducting a study concerning a new route connecting KY 33 north of Danville to US 150 east of Danville in Boyle County.

More information: Danville Advocate Messenger: State Seeking Input on Connector Road [Outside Link], Danville Advocate Messenger: Connector road designs unveiled (Nov. 19, 2003) [Outside Link], KYTC Division of Planning: New Danville Connector [Outside Link]

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[Commonwealth of Kentucky]
Patton Admits to Ethics Violations
Posted: 6-Jan-2004 6:43AM CST

Former Gov. Patton settled ethics charges by admitting to two of the four charges he faced from Executive Branch Ethics Committee. He agreed to pay a $5,000. He admitted to intervening in the approval of a company owned by his mistress Tina Conner as a disadvantaged business enterprise and to intervening in the promotion of a Kentucky Vehicle Enforcement officer who helped Conner out of a speeding ticket.

More information: Courier-Journal: Patton admits 2 charges (Nov. 17, 2003) [Outside Link]

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[US 31W]
US 31W to be Repaved Through Fort Knox
Posted: 6-Jan-2004 6:43AM CST
Topics: [Hardin County] [US 31]

The stretch of US 31W that passes the gold depository at Fort Knox will be repaved during a project scheduled to end by Dec. 1, 2004.

More information: Hardin County News-Enterprise: 31W north of Radcliff is next big cone zone (Nov. 16, 2003) [Outside Link]

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[US 431]
Muhlenberg County Residents Clamor for Improvements to US 431
Posted: 6-Jan-2004 6:42AM CST

Residents of Belton are asking state transportation officials to improve a section of US 431 known locally as "dead man's curve."

More information: Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer: Families push for straightening of 'Dead Man's Curve' (Nov. 16, 2003) [Outside Link], Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer: Lights, signs go up on U.S. 431 curve (Dec. 9, 2003) [Outside Link], Courier-Journal: Funds requested to make deadly road curve safer (Dec. 30, 2003) [Outside Link]

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[Louisville - Jefferson County]
Kentucky Transportation Cabinet Receives National Roadway Safety Award
Posted: 6-Jan-2004 4:10AM CST

From http://www.kytc.state.ky.us/news/11-21-03.htm [Outside Link]:

Louisville, Kentucky (November 21, 2003)-The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) received a national award this week for an innovative safety project that has reduced the number of accidents at a busy Louisville intersection.
The Brook and Jefferson Streets intersection in downtown Louisville, with 32,000 vehicles a day, was also a very frequent scene for accidents and near-accidents. The Auto Incident Recording System (AIRS), consisting of video cameras, microphones, computers and a video recording system, was installed in July, 2001.
The data collected on AIRS showed that 50% of the crashes and 33% of the near crashes were associated with identical illegal left turns. Following the installation of additional signage and curb extensions, the crash number has been cut in half.
James C. Codell, III, KYTC Secretary, received the award on Wednesday in Washington, DC from the Roadway Safety Foundation and the Federal Highway Administration. Kentucky was one of 13 projects selected from more than 130 entries as an initiative for saving lives by improving roadway design, operations and overall planning.
The monitoring system is part of the Traffic Management System in the Greater Louisville Area (TRIMARC) project, which is managed by Northrop Grumman Mission Systems. The Louisville Metro Police and Public Works Department have been partners in the safety endeavor.
In announcing the award, Secretary Codell said, “Safety is the number one priority for us at the Cabinet and we are honored to be recognized for improvements that have made conditions safer for motorists.” Codell explained that the use of state-of-the-art technology to make roadways safer is truly the wave of the future.
Now that enhancements have been made at this key intersection, the equipment will be moved in the next few months to another high-incident location to collect similar data. The equipment is only used for improving safety and research purposes and not for enforcement. Louisville is the only US installation for this equipment, developed by Mitsubishi Electric Company of Japan.
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