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February 2004

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

[I-69]
Proposed Henderson County Subdivision Lies in the Path of I-69
Posted: 29-Feb-2004 9:42AM CST

A Henderson County landowner has asked the Henderson City-County Planning Commission to consider plans for a major subdivision on his land. The land in question, between Wathen Lane and the Ohio River, lies in the path of recently recommended route of I-69. The Evansville Urban Transportation Study has asked to the commission to require that future home buyers be informed of the proposed route of I-69 if plans for the subdivision are ultimately approved.

More information: Henderson Gleaner: Homes would straddle I-69 path (Feb. 27, 2004) [Outside Link]

Update (March 10, 2004): The planning-zoning commission tabled discussion of the proposed subdivision: The Henderson Gleaner: Panel splits on coal road (March 3, 2004) [Outside Link]

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[Commonwealth of Kentucky]
Clark County Fiscal Court Tells KYTC of Problem Roads
Posted: 29-Feb-2004 9:41AM CST
Topics: [Clark County]

Stuart Goodpaster of the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet discussed problems with rural Clark County roads with magistrates during a recent meeting of the Clark County Fiscal Court. Under the Rural Secondary Program, which began in 1948, part of the state.s gasoline tax is used to maintain rural roads in the states 120 counties. Each year transportation cabinet officials meet with county leaders to determine what roads should be improved.

More information: Winchester Sun: Magistrates tell state of problem county roads (Feb. 26, 2004) [Outside Link]

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[I-71] [I-75]
Bunning Reaffirms Position on Louisville and Northern Kentucky Bridges; Democratic Challenger Holds Bridge Meeting
Posted: 29-Feb-2004 9:41AM CST

U.S. Senator Jim Bunning said he may have misspoke when he said that one of the two proposed Ohio River bridges at Louisville would need to be delayed during a conference call on Thursday. He said that work on the two Louisville bridges should not be delayed. Additionally, he said that he hopes plans for the replacement of Northern Kentucky's Brent Spence Bridge are included in the federal six year highway plan.

State Sen. Daniel Mongiardo, a Hazard democrat who hopes to unseat Sen. Bunning, held a meeting to discuss the Brent Spence Bridge replacement project on Thursday. Mongiardo said that he wanted to "get a local feel for what the public's understanding is of the problem of the bridge."

More information: Kentucky Post: Mongiardo to hold bridge discussion (Feb. 26, 2004) [Outside Link], Cincinnati Enquirer: Bunning clarifies stance on bridges (Feb. 27, 2004) [Outside Link], Kentucky Post: Mongiardo: Replace the bridge (Feb. 27, 2004) [Outside Link], Kentucky Post: Bunning behind two spans in Louisville (Feb. 27, 2004) [Outside Link]

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[Commonwealth of Kentucky]
Transportation Leader Hopes Tax Reforms Will Raise Money for Road Projects
Posted: 29-Feb-2004 9:41AM CST

Speaking to the House Transportation Committee, Deputy Secretary Dick Murgatroyd said this week that the transportation cabinet needs more revenue in order to fund all of the projects in the current six year plan. Funding options which have been discussed include a 1333% increased in the cigarette tax (from 3 cents to 40 cents) or an increase in the state gasoline tax. Of ten bordering and nearby states, Kentucky has the lowest gasoline tax at 16.4-cents per gallon.

At a bill signing ceremony on Wednesday, Gov. Fletcher refused to comment on proposed tax plans.

More information: Kentucky Post: Road money sought in tax overhaul (Feb. 26, 2005) [Outside Link]

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[Louisville - Jefferson County]
2030 Louisville Area Transportation Plan Being Developed
Posted: 29-Feb-2004 9:41AM CST

The Jeffersonville (Ind.) Evening News reports that the Kentuckiana Regional Planning and Development Agency (KIPDA) has begun work on updating the Louisville metropolitan area master transportation plan. The next version of the plan is to include all transportation projects planned up through the year 2030. The KIPDA region includes five counties in Kentucky and southern Indiana.

More information: The Jeffersonville (Ind.) Evening News: KIPDA starts work on 2030 transportation master plan (Feb. 28, 2004) [Outside Link], KIPDA: Transportation Division [Outside Link]

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[William H. Natcher Parkway]
Southern Extension to Natcher Parkway Moving Ahead; Tolls to be Lifted in 2007
Posted: 29-Feb-2004 9:40AM CST

The Bowling Green Daily News reports that funding for construction of a southern extension of the Natcher Parkway is included in the proposed six year plan. Initial design work has already been completed for the extension that would stretch for the parkway.s current terminus at I-65 to US 231 near Dye Ford Road.

Additionally, tolls are scheduled to be lifted from the entire length of the parkway once its bonds are repaid in 2007.

More information: Bowling Green Daily News: $20M Natcher extension on road toward construction (Feb. 28, 2004) [Outside Link]

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[US 460]
Georgetown By-pass Maybe Completed by 2010
Posted: 29-Feb-2004 9:40AM CST
Topics: [KY 32] [Scott County] [US 25] [US 460]

In an article that no longer appears to be online, the Georgetown News-Graphic reports that the final leg of the Georgetown Bypass would be completed in 2010 under the proposed six-year highway plan. Construction on the bypass originally began in 1994 when the section eastern half of the bypass from US 25 south to US 25 north was completed. In 1997, the southwestern stretch of the bypass between US 460 west and US 25 south was constructed.

Under the proposed six year highway plan, right of way purchases for the stretch of the bypass between US 460 west and US 25 north would begin in 2007. Actual construction of the road would begin in 2010.

More information: Hartman, Chas. J. "Final leg of bypass could end in 2010." Georgetown (Ky.) News-Graphic [Outside Link] 27 Feb 2004.

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[Louisville - Jefferson County]
Pothole Season
Posted: 29-Feb-2004 9:40AM CST

The Courier-Journal reports on the annual effort to fill in winter's newly created potholes: Courier-Journal: Open season on potholes (Feb. 27, 2004) [Outside Link]

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[Commonwealth of Kentucky]
Lexington-area Civil Engineer Named State Highway Commissioner
Posted: 26-Feb-2004 11:50PM CST

The vice-president of the Lexington branch of the multi-state engineering firm Wilber Smith Associates has been named State Highway Commissioner. Marc D. Williams will head the transportation cabinet’s Division of Highways. Williams is a native of Texas and holds a bachelor’s and a master’s degree from Texas A&M University. He has been responsible for a number projects across Kentucky, Indiana, and Ohio.

Records show that Wilber Smith Associates was awarded nearly $1 million in state contracts last year. Williams donated $1,250 to the Fletcher gubernatorial campaign.

Under the Patton administration, the State Highway Commissioner Post was held by the then-Transportation Cabinet Secretary James C. Codell III.

More information: Lexington Herald-Leader: Lexington civil engineer named highways chief (Feb. 26, 2004) [Outside Link], Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer: Civil engineer named highway commissioner (Feb. 26, 2004) [Outside Link], Courier-Journal: Lexington engineer named chief of highways (Feb. 26, 2004) [Outside Link]

Update (Mar. 10, 2004): Official press release: Kentucky Transportation Cabinet: Governor Ernie Fletcher Appoints Marc Williams Commissioner Of Highways (Feb. 25, 2004) [Outside Link]

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[I-71] [I-75]
Possible Funding Source for Brent Spence Bridge Replacement Found
Posted: 26-Feb-2004 11:49PM CST

Officials with Greater Cincinnati’s main transportation planning committee say they may have found a possible source for funding to pay for rehabilitating or replacing the Brent Spence Bridge. The house version of a six-year transportation spending bill currently under consideration in the U.S. Congress includes a $20.2 billion fund for “projects of regional or national importance.” The group hopes that the Brent Spence Bridge would be considered one of these projects. The bridge was recently identified as one of the top twenty four highway bottlenecks nationwide, and forms a vital link on I-75—the nation’s second busiest north-south interstate.

More information: Cincinnati Enquirer: Possible funding found for Brent Spence Bridge (Feb. 25, 2004) [Outside Link], (Northern) Kentucky Post: Fund could finance bridge (Feb. 25, 2004) [Outside Link]

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[The Ohio River]
“I didn’t say that all.” Bunning Denies Saying Louisville Bridge Project Should be Delayed
Posted: 24-Feb-2004 10:36AM CST

According to an Associated Press story, U.S. Senator Jim Bunning told a Louisville civic group that one of Louisville’s new interstate bridges over the Ohio River will need to be delayed. The Associated Press reports that Sen. Bunning later told a WHAS-TV reporter, “I think it's very important that you get a bridge ... and make sure you decide where you are going to put the first one. And then, you are going to have to wait a year or two or three because we have to divert some money up into northern Kentucky to get that because ours is falling down.”

This shocked Louisville leaders. The two bridges have already been approved by the Federal Highway Administration as a single project, and the proposed state budget has allocated $118 million to continue design work for the bridges. Bunning said that the Louisville will get one bridge and then money will be used to replace the Brent Spence Bridge carrying I-71/I-75 over the Ohio River in Northern Kentucky. Bunning is from Northern Kentucky.

On Saturday, Bunning told a report from Louisville’s Courier-Journal that he never said the second bridge would be delayed and refused to give further comment.

Steve Higdon, president of Greater Louisville Inc, said that he believes Bunning was unaware that the two bridges had been approved as a single project and that as soon Bunning was made aware of this fact it would “put the entire issue to rest.”

More information: Associated Press: Bunning denies saying bridge project should be delayed for N. Kentucky bridge (Feb. 22, 2004) [Outside Link], Courier-Journal: Bunning talk on bridges a shocker (Feb. 22, 2004) [Outside Link]

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[Western Kentucky Parkway]
Western Kentucky Parkway’s Abandoned Connector
Posted: 24-Feb-2004 10:36AM CST

Western Kentucky Parkway's Old Connector: Overview

Prior to the completion of the westernmost 10 miles of the Western Kentucky Parkway, it ended at US 62 just west of Princeton. Once the parkway was completed, a short two lane segment of the parkway as abandoned. This Old Connector Road eventually became a residential street; however, several features clearly indicate it was once part of a major highway.

Several photographs of the connector have been added to the Western Kentucky Parkway photo gallery.

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[US 460]
First Phase of US 460 Pike County Reconstruction Over Half Complete
Posted: 24-Feb-2004 10:36AM CST
Topics: [Pike County] [US 460]

Transportation Cabinet District 12 reports that construction on the first phase of the US 460 widening project in Pike County is 53% complete. The 2.3 mile section of highway begins at US 23 and climbs to the top of a mountain to the east. This section of highway includes a set of twin bridges that carry the highway 86 feet above a mountain valley.

The entire project between US 23 and the Virginia state line is expected to take up to 12 years and cost $500 million.

More information: Kentucky Transportation Cabinet District 12: First section of new US 460 more than half finished (Feb. 19, 2004) [Outside Link]

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[Commonwealth of Kentucky]
Four Kentucky Road Sites Ranked in Top 223 Highway Bottleknecks
Posted: 24-Feb-2004 10:35AM CST

Four locations across Kentucky have been identified as major highway bottlenecks by the National Highway Users Alliance.

The Brent Spence Bridge is ranked as the 24th bottleneck nationwide.

One of the interchanges between I-264 and I-64 in Jefferson County is ranked 119. These roads actually meet twice, but the report does not seem to specify which interchange this is.

The interchange between I-71/I-75 and I-275 in Kenton County ranks 150.

The I-64, I-65, and I-71 “Spaghetti Junction” interchange in Jefferson County ranked 163.

The rankings are based on a study of the amount of time drivers spend delayed at these points.

More information: National Highway Users Alliance: America's Worst Bottlenecks and the Benefits of Fixing Them [Outside Link]

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[Commonwealth of Kentucky]
Henderson Fiscal Court Discusses Closing Road near Mine
Posted: 24-Feb-2004 10:35AM CST

In its next meeting, Henderson Fiscal Court will hold a public hearing concerning a request to temporarily close a portion of Mason Landing Road. Patriot Coal Co. would like to mine through the road. If approved the road would be closed for 18 months beginning during the summer of 2005. Patriot Coal would then be required to rebuild the road to modern standards.

More information: The Henderson Gleaner: Court discussing road closing Tuesday (Feb. 22, 2004) [Outside Link]

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[Hal Rogers-Daniel Boone Parkway]
Bill Would Keep Hal Rogers Parkway Name and Name Second Route for Daniel Boone
Posted: 21-Feb-2004 9:41PM CST

The Kentucky House of Representatives passed a bill on Friday that would keep the name Hal Rogers Parkway on the London-Harzard parkway and would name US 25E between Corbin and Middlesboro the “Daniel Boone Wilderness Trail.” The house hopes that this compromise will be acceptable since US 25E roughly follows the path of Wilderness Trail. Daniel Boone helped blaze the Wilderness Trail in 1769. The path through the Cumberland Gap helped open Kentucky to settlement.

More information: WKYT: Daniel Boone May Have Another Road Named for Him (Feb. 21, 2004) [Outside Link], Associated Press: House votes to name highway for Boone (Feb. 21, 2004) [Outside Link], Associated Press: Resolution would name road after Boone (Feb. 21, 2004) [Outside Link], Associated Press: Part of U.S. 25E could be Daniel Boone Trail (Feb. 21, 2004) [Outside Link], Legislative Research Commission: Text of 2004 Regular Session House Joint Resolution 7 [Outside Link]

Update (Feb. 24, 2004): More information: Middlesboro Daily News: Bill would name 25E for Daniel Boone (Feb. 21, 2004) [Outside Link], Associated Press: Wilderness trail may bear Daniel Boone's name (Feb. 23, 2004) [Outside Link]

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[US 431]
Work Begins this Week to Improve ‘Dead Man’s Curve’
Posted: 21-Feb-2004 9:41PM CST

Work will begin this week to make temporary improvements to a stretch of US 431 in Muhlenberg County that has seen three fatal accidents since last May. Work will begin in 2006 to make permanent improvements.

More information: Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer: Work begins on 'Dead Man's Curve' (Feb. 21, 2004) [Outside Link]

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[I-71] [I-75]
U.S. Congress Nears Passage of Transportation Bill
Posted: 21-Feb-2004 9:41PM CST

U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell said on Friday that he believes the U.S. Congress will pass a six-year transportation bill within the next few weeks; however, he has no idea if funding will be included for a replacement for the Brent Spence Bridge. He says that Kentucky’s junior senator, Jim Bunning, has taken the lead on securing funding for the bridge replacement project.

More information: Cincinnati Enquirer: McConnell: Transit bill near (Feb. 21, 2004) [Outside Link]

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[KY 80]
Reconstruction of Kentucky 80 between Cadiz and Mayfield Progresses
Posted: 21-Feb-2004 9:41PM CST

Funding to continue the reconstruction of KY 80 is included in the new Six-Year Highway Plan. The project to widen KY 80 between Cadiz and Mayfield is broken up into three phases.

  • Phase 1 - Aurora to Murray - Construction on this phase of the project is nearly complete. It begins at the approach to US 68-KY 80 bridge over Kentucky Lake and continues westward to US 641 a few miles north of Murray. Construction started several years ago and should be complete this summer.
  • Phase 2 - Murray to Mayfield - Construction on this phase was recently begun. This $60 million will construct a new four lane highway between US 641 north of Murray to Mayfield. Construction is expected to last for a couple of years.
  • Phase 3 - Cadiz to Aurora - The Six-Year Plan includes $132 million to construct new four lane bridges over Kentucky Lake and Lake Berkeley. Construction on the bridges is scheduled to begin in 2006. Work on the widening project through the Land Between the Lakes has been delayed: the Tennessee Valley Authority gave initial approval for the project; however, ownership of the Land Between the Lakes has since been transferred to the United State Department of Agriculture forest service. Plans for the widening project are expected to be complete this summer, and construction is scheduled for completion in 2007.

The existing two-lane stretch of KY 80 between Aurora and Kentucky 58 east of Mayfield has already been renumbered as KY 402.

More information: Murray Ledger & Times: Committment [sic] shown for Ky. 80 project (Feb. 20, 2004) [Outside Link]

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[KY 1120]
Section of 10th Street in Newport to Close for Six Months
Posted: 21-Feb-2004 2:16AM CST

A section of Tenth Street in Newport between Vine Street and Monroe Avenue is scheduled to be closed beginning during the third week of March. The street is expected to be closed for six months while crews work to replace an overpass over a railroad.

More information: Cincinnati Enquirer: Brace for 10th Street closing (Feb. 20, 2004) [Outside Link]

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[Kentucky's New License Plate]
Bill to Allow State to Issue Driver’s Licenses without Photographs Meets Opposition
Posted: 20-Feb-2004 10:17PM CST

Prior to Sept. 11, 2001 the transportation cabinet allowed county clerks to issue driver’s licenses without photos in the event the licensee’s religion discourage allowing his or her photograph to be taken; however, the state has since stopped this practice due to concerns it might be abused by terrorists. State Representative Fred Nesler, D-Mayfield, submitted a bill for consideration during this years regular session that if approved would reinstate the practice; however, a number of members of the house transportation committee have expressed opposition to the bill.

More information: Associated Press: No-photo license bill faces stiff opposition (Feb. 20, 2004) [Outside Link], Associated Press: No-photo driver's licenses opposed (Feb. 20, 2004) [Outside Link]

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[Commonwealth of Kentucky]
No Projects Cut from Six Year Road Plan, but Some Are Delayed
Posted: 20-Feb-2004 7:35AM CST
Topics: Topic listing supressed. [38 topics related to this item]

Transportation Cabinet Secretary Bailey told state legislators on Wednesday that no projects were cut from this year's version of the Six Year Highway plan; however, some projects have delayed due to the states budget problems.

The list of projects is too long to list here; however, some notable projects are listed below.

  • $118 million for the Louisville-Southern Indiana Bridges Project. Some of this money will be raised by selling bonds that would be repaid when promised federal funding is allocated for the project.
  • $78 million for reconstruction of the Owensboro bypass to the east of its current alignment. This is meant to improve access to the William H. Natcher Bridge.
  • Widening of I-64 from Louisville to Shelbyville.
  • Widening of I-65 from the Tennessee State Line to Bowling Green.
  • Widening of I-75 in Scott and Grant counties.
  • Southern extensions of both the Breathitt Pennyrile Parkway and the William H. Natcher Parwkay.

A notable absence from the list is funding for replacing the I-71/I-75 Brent Spence Bridge over the Ohio River; however, the project remains on the unscheduled needs list and officials claim that it is still a priority. Construction on the project is still over a decade away.

This year the transportation cabinet has split the list into projects that will receive federal funding and projects that will not receive federal funding. Projects that will be funded only by the state are expected to be delayed and will be prioritized by need.

Update (Feb. 29, 2004): More information about projects in particular areas can be found here.

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[I-71] [I-75]
Brent Spence Bridge is Nation's 24th Worst Highway Bottleneck
Posted: 20-Feb-2004 7:34AM CST

A nationwide study found that the Brent Spence Bridge is the nation's 24th worst highway bottleneck: Bridge big bottleneck (Feb. 19, 2004) [Outside Link]

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[US 25E]
Cumberland Gap Tunnel Tests New Camera System
Posted: 20-Feb-2004 7:34AM CST

Personnel at the Cumberland Gap Tunnel have begun testing a new camera system. The new cameras are meant to improve the ability to monitor traffic conditions and improve tunnel security.

More information: WYMT: Tunnel Operates With New Technology (Feb. 14, 2004) [Outside Link]

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[New Route]
Developments Continue Along Old Henry Road Despite Uncertainty over Re-routing
Posted: 20-Feb-2004 7:34AM CST

Despite the lack of a final concerning the reconstruction of Old Henry Road in Jefferson and Oldham Counties, developers continue to begin construction of new projects along the road. A planning study concerning reconstruction of the route between Crestwood and Pewee Valley is expected to be complete this summer.

More information: Courier-Journal: Two proposals for Old Henry Road advance (Feb. 18, 2004) [Outside Link]

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[KY 247]
Monks Would Like to See KY 247 Moved
Posted: 20-Feb-2004 7:33AM CST
Topics: [KY 247] [Nelson County]

Monks from the Abbey of Gethsemani of Nelson County would like to see the highway which runs in front of their Abbey moved in order to preserve the monastic nature of their abbey. The state currently has no plans to move the highway; however, the monks are starting a campaign to attend donations of land and money to help move the route. They also plan to seek assistance from U.S. Senator Jim Bunning to obtain Federal funds for the project.

More information: Bardstown Kentucky Standard: Monks would like to see part of KY 247 moved (Feb. 13, 2004) [Outside Link]

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[US 60]
FHWA Asks State to Re-study US 60 Corydon Bypass Routes
Posted: 20-Feb-2004 7:33AM CST

A project to widen US 60 west of Henderson has been indefinitely delayed after the Federal Highway Administration rescinded approval of the proposed Corydon by-pass. Citizens lead by a local veterinarian succeeded in convincing the FHWA that the state should consider other routes and conduct a complete environmental study. The previously selected corridor runs mostly through farms; the corridors to be studied would take many more houses. Work on a new study will not begin until the federal government provides funding for such a study.

More information: Henderson Gleaner: 60-West widening back to square one (Feb. 18, 2004) [Outside Link]

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[I-69]
More on I-69 Henderson Route
Posted: 20-Feb-2004 7:33AM CST

The Henderson Gleaner interviews some residents along the proposed path of I-69 east of Henderson in this article: Henderson Gleaner: 'Heart and soul' (Feb. 13, 2004) [Outside Link]

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[Kentucky's New License Plate]
A Look at the Personalized Plate Taboo List
Posted: 20-Feb-2004 7:33AM CST

An article in Monday.s issue of the Courier-Journal took a look at the process of how the content of personalized plate requests are reviewed: Courier-Journal: Some license plate requests judged 2 NASTY 4 KY (Feb. 16, 2004) [Outside Link]

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[Commonwealth of Kentucky]
State Will Help Shelby County with Litter Pickup
Posted: 20-Feb-2004 7:33AM CST
Topics: [Shelby County]

After complaints over the unsightliness of the county's thoroughfares, Transportation Cabinet District 12 employees will help accompany county prisoners picking up litter along I-64 and other litter "hot spots" in Shelby County.

The article from the Shelbyville Sentinel-News includes some interesting tidbits about how the carcasses of dead animals are disposed. In the past crews have disposed of as many as twelve deer along I-64 in a single day. Deer are usually buried in the spot they are found, and smaller animals are removed to location in the median of I-64 near Frankfort were the carcasses are buried.

More information: Shelbyville Sentinel-News: State will help with county litter (Feb. 13, 2004) [Outside Link]

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[Commonwealth of Kentucky]
Bill to Increase Transportation Cabinet Oversight Passes State Senate
Posted: 20-Feb-2004 7:32AM CST

The state senate has unanimously passed a bill that would increase the legislative oversight of the transportation cabinet.

More information: Associated Press: Developments in the Kentucky General Assembly (Feb. 13, 2004) [Outside Link], Associated Press: Senate passes bill for oversight of Transportation Cabinet (Feb. 19, 2004) [Outside Link], Kentucky Legislative Research Commission: Text and Status of 2004 Regular Session Senate Bill 2 [Outside Link]

Update: More information: Associated Press: Transportation Cabinet oversight bill passed (Feb. 20, 2004) [Outside Link]

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[US 23]
Section of US 23 in Boyd County Names for Bluegrass Musician Melvin Goins
Posted: 20-Feb-2004 7:32AM CST
Topics: [Boyd County] [US 23]

A section of US 23—which is designated the Country Music Highway through the entire state—was named in honor Bluegrass Musician Melvin Goins today. Goins is a resident of Boyd County.

More information: Ashland Daily-Independent: Boyd's Melvin Goins to get stretch of music highway (Feb. 19, 2004) [Outside Link]

Update (Feb. 21, 2004): More information: Ashland Daily-Independent: Goins added to Country Music Highway (Feb. 20, 2004) [Outside Link]

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[Commonwealth of Kentucky]
2005-2010 Six Year Highway Plan Released
Posted: 19-Feb-2004 6:19PM CST

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet has released the new Six Year Highway Plan. The plan lists all highway projects expected to receive funding between 2004 and 2010. The plan must now be reviewed and amended by the General Assembly. The plan can be viewed here: Kentucky Transportation Cabinet: 2005-2010 Recommended Six-Year Highway Plan [Outside Link].

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[I-71] [I-75]
Florence Leaders Seek to Unite City
Posted: 13-Feb-2004 9:43AM CST

The city of Florence grew up on the eastern edge of I-71/I-75; however, as it grow it expanded to the west of the interstate. Today, it is a city divided by the interstate: there are no pedestrian crossings over the interstate in Florence. City leaders hope to gain $264,195 in federal-aid transportation funds for the construction of sidewalk along KY 18.s interstate crossing. The grant would come from the Federal-Aid Transportation Enhancement Program which is administered by the state; that state would also have to provide matching funds along with such a grant.

More information: Cincinnati Enquirer: Florence trying to unite two sides (Feb. 12, 2004) [Outside Link]

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[Commonwealth of Kentucky]
Transportation Cabinet Not Cutting Funds to Counties
Posted: 13-Feb-2004 9:42AM CST

The Transportation Cabinet will begin providing funds to county road agencies using a new formula. Greenup County Judge-Executive Bobby Carpenter feared that this new formula might result in a $200,000 cut to his county's road funds; however, the state says that it will still be paying the same amount. The new plan will spread the funds out over the course of the fiscal year, instead of the lump sum payments used previously.

More information: Ashland Daily-Independent: No cuts in road funds, state says (Feb. 12, 2004) [Outside Link]

Update (Feb. 20, 2004): More information concerning the reaction of Casey County: Danville Advocate Messenger: Casey accepts state road maintenance plan (Feb. 17, 2004) [Outside Link]

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[Commonwealth of Kentucky]
Bill for More Transportation Cabinet Oversight Progressing through General Assembly
Posted: 13-Feb-2004 9:42AM CST

In response to the scandals that plagued the transportation cabinet during the Patton administration, several bills have been introduced to increase the legislative oversight over the department. One such bill has been approved by a state Senate panel.

More information: Associated Press: Panel OKs bill for more oversight of Transportation Cabinet (Feb. 11, 2004) [Outside Link], Associated Press: Transportation faces more monitoring (Feb. 12, 2004) [Outside Link]

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[New Route]
Construction to Begin Soon on Somerset's Monticello Street
Posted: 13-Feb-2004 9:42AM CST
Topics: [Pulaski County] [US 27]

The contract for the construction of new Monticello Street has been awarded. Work should begin this year, and construction is expected to take two construction seasons. The new route is meant to funnel traffic from southern Somerset to US 27. The new route will include a four lane bridge over the Norfolk and Southern Railroad line. The bridge will replace the current narrow underpass in the area. The underpass was constructed in 1904.

More information: Somerset Commonwealth Journal: Somerset construction (Feb. 11, 2004) [Outside Link]

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[KY 92]
Supporters Promote Lake Cumberland Bridge
Posted: 13-Feb-2004 9:42AM CST

Supporters seeking state and federal funding to connect the two KY 92.s in southern Kentucky. Kentucky 92 currently exists as two separate highways divided by Lake Cumberland. Supporters are seeking to have a bridge constructed in the vicinity of Lake Cumberland State Park to connect these two routes.

Before Lake Cumberland was impounded over fifty years ago, a ferry across Cumberland River connected the two sections of KY 92 and helped form a direct route between Jamestown and Monticello.

More information: A Push for a New Bridge Could Bring More Tourists Dollars (Feb. 11. 2004) [Outside Link]

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[Hal Rogers-Daniel Boone Parkway]
Not All Happy with Plan to Return Boone's Name to Parkway
Posted: 13-Feb-2004 9:42AM CST

Not all lawmakers are pleased with the plan to once again rename the parkway between London and Hazard. State Representatives Tommy Turner and Marie Rader think it would be waste of money to once again install new signs along the parkway.

More information: London Sentinel-Echo: Boone name may return (Feb. 10, 2004) [Outside Link], Somerset Commonwealth Journal: Committee votes to restore Boone.s name to parkway (Feb. 11, 2004) [Outside Link]

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[I-71] [I-75]
One Option for Brent Spence Bridge Replacement Would Open Land in Downtown Cincinnati for Development
Posted: 13-Feb-2004 9:41AM CST

One of the six options for replacing the Brent Spence Bridge would free land in downtown Cincinnati that is currently covered by the I-75/I-71 interchange for development. This land would be situated adjacent to the city.s new sporting venues.

More information: Cincinnati Post: Bridge option could free land for downtown projects (Feb. 10, 2004) [Outside Link]

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[US 25E]
Preacher William Boyd Bingham II Dies
Posted: 13-Feb-2004 9:41AM CST

Preacher William Boyd Bingham II of Middlesboro died last week. The preacher, who was a minister for 60 years, helped campaign for the construction of the Cumberland Gap Tunnel and the elimination of the dangerous highway through the gap.

More information: Middlesboro Daily News: Preacher Bingham remembered for his ministries (Feb. 9. 2004) [Outside Link]

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[I-69]
Preferred Alternative Identified for I-69 Corridor Linking Henderson and Evansville
Posted: 11-Feb-2004 4:18PM CST

From Kentucky Transportation Cabinet: Preferred Alternative Identified for I-69 Corridor Linking Henderson and Evansville (Feb. 11, 2004) [Outside Link]:

EVANSVILLE-- Maxwell Clay Bailey, Secretary of the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, and J. Bryan Nicol, Commissioner of the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT), jointly announced today that the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for the I-69 extension between Henderson, Kentucky and Evansville, Indiana has been approved by the Federal Highway Administration. “This I-69 corridor will provide an important connection between Kentucky and Indiana,” said Secretary Bailey. “This vital transportation link will mean improved mobility, safer travel and expanded economic opportunities for our states and for the nation.”
The study consists of evaluating the potential of constructing a new interstate highway between the cities of Henderson and Evansville, as well as the potential for a new Ohio River Bridge between the two cities. Although four alternatives were evaluated in detail, the DEIS identifies one of two eastern alternatives, Alternative 2, as the preferred alternative. Alternative 2 will utilize more than 18 miles of existing I-164 before entering new alignment just east of the Green River Road interchange in Evansville. The Alternative will then travel south on new alignment across a new Ohio River bridge crossing where it will connect to the Breathitt Parkway in Henderson, KY. The total length of Alternative 2 is approximately 30.2 miles and is estimated to cost approximately $652 million to construct.
Two alternatives (Alternatives 1 and 1A) west of Evansville were evaluated but are not considered preferred alternatives because of several factors, including impacts to numerous historic properties and construction cost. The construction cost of each of the western alternatives is approximately $1 billion. A second eastern alternative was also evaluated. Although this alternative, Alternative 3, utilizes approximately 17.2 miles of existing I-164, it travels just east of Angel Mounds State Historic Site, a National Landmark. Alternative 3 would travel south on I-164 and begin new alignment near the I-164/SR 662 interchange. Alternative 3 was not identified as a preferred alternative because of several factors, including impacts to the National Landmark and a high number of residential relocations at I-164/SR662.
Commissioner Nicol said, “This project reinforces the basic purpose and need of constructing and extending a new Interstate 69 that will eventually link us with Canada and Mexico-two of our largest trading partners.”
“The partnership on this project between Indiana and Kentucky has been phenomenal,” added Secretary Bailey. “INDOT, KYTC, the Evansville Urban Transportation Study (EUTS) and the Divisions of the Federal Highway Administration from both Indiana and Kentucky all agree that Alternative 2 is the preferred Alternative based on the initial investigations.” Public hearings to take comments on the DEIS will be at the Henderson High School gymnasium on March 16 and at Reitz High School in Evansville on March 17. Doors will open at 5 p.m. with formal presentations beginning at 6 p.m. for both hearings. Public comments will be accepted until Monday, April 19, 2004.
Comments can be sent to Mr. Tim Miller, HNTB Corporation, 111 Monument Circle, Suite 1200, Indianapolis, Indiana, 46204, or by visiting the project Web site www.i69in-ky.com [Outside Link]. Comments on the draft report will be considered before a Final Environmental Impact Statement is published within a year.
-30-

More information: The (Henderson) Gleaner: 'Major announcement' on I-69 today (Feb. 11, 2004) [Outside Link], Indianapolis Star: Path chosen for I-69 leg skirting Evansville (Feb. 11, 2004) [Outside Link]

Update (Feb. 13, 2004): Business First of Louisville: Kentucky, Indiana announce initial approval for I-69 project (Feb. 11, 2004) [Outside Link], Kentucky Transportation Cabinet: Legal Notice of Public Meeting (Feb. 11, 2004) [Outside Link], Evansville Courier & Press: Henderson residents on I-69 route not happy, but resigned (Feb. 12, 2004) [Outside Link], Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer: Interstate 69 eastern route is endorsed (Feb. 12, 2004) [Outside Link]

Two meeting have been scheduled to discuss the preferred alignment: March 16, 2004 from 5 PM to 9 PM at Henderson County High School Gym and March 17, 2004 from 5 PM to 9 PM at Reitz High School Cafeteria

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[The Ohio River]
Concerns Raised Over Funding for Louisville Bridges Project
Posted: 10-Feb-2004 11:14AM CST

Transportation Cabinet Secretary Maxwell Clay Bailey has pledged his support for the Louisville-Southern Indiana Ohio River Bridges Project; however, he has declined to answer question about how much funding will be included for the project in the next Six-Year Highway Plan. The plan is expected to be released later this week. Bailey’s refusal to answer has raised concern among some bridge supporters that the state will not fully fund its required share of the bridge construction costs.

More information: Courier-Journal: State official pledges support for bridges (Feb. 10, 2004) [Outside Link]

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[Commonwealth of Kentucky]
Six-Year Plan Must Still Be Considered in General Assembly
Posted: 10-Feb-2004 4:50AM CST

This year’s general assembly still has many tough tasks to undertake including the Transportation Cabinet’s Six Year Highway Plan. A recently completed report concluded that the current Six-Year Plan was overloaded to the tune of $1.8 billion.

More information: Bowling Green Daily News: Session getting tougher (Feb. 9, 2004) [Outside Link]

Update (Feb. 13, 2004): Despite claims the 2004 Six Year Plan would be released Wednesday, it has still yet to have been published. More information on the state budget can be found here: Messenger-Inquirer:Budget getting most of legislators' attention (Feb. 10, 2004) [Outside Link]

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[US 27]
Taylor-Southgate Bridge Closed After Barge Impact
Posted: 10-Feb-2004 4:50AM CST

The Taylor-Southgate Bridge over the Ohio River at Covington was closed this morning after barge hit one of the bridge’s piers. There was no obvious damage to the barge nor to the bridge; however, the bridge must remain closed until inspectors can survey the bridge. There is no word on how long this process will take.

More information: Cincinnati Post: Taylor-Southgate Bridge closed (Feb. 9, 2004) [Outside Link]

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[Commonwealth of Kentucky]
U.S. Attorney: Patton Investigation Over
Posted: 10-Feb-2004 4:50AM CST

U.S. Attorney Gregory Van Tatenhove said today that an investigation into former Gov. Patton’s involvement in having his mistress’ business approved as Disadvantage Business Enterprise is over. His former mistress, Tina Conner, was sentenced to probation today for mail fraud charges arising from the investigation.

The Disadvantage Business Enterprise program is designed to help minority owned businesses compete for transportation cabinet contract.

More information: Associated Press: U.S. attorney says investigation over (Feb. 9, 2004) [Outside Link], (Northern) Kentucky Post: Attorney: Patton will not be indicted (Feb. 9, 2004) [Outside Link], WKYT: Conner Request To Withdraw Plea Denied (Feb. 9, 2004) [Outside Link]

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[KY 245]
KYTC Planning Next Phase of KY 245 Widening
Posted: 10-Feb-2004 4:50AM CST
Topics: [KY 245] [Nelson County]

A public meeting was held in Nelson County recently to discuss options for widening just over a mile of KY 245 outside of Bardstown. The widened route will provide improved service to the Flaget Memorial Hospital which is currently under construction near the route. This is the second phase of a widening project that is already underway. The current KY 245 widening project is expected to be completed this July.

Eventually, KY 245 is to be widened along the entire distance between Bardstown and I-65.

More information: /Kentucky Standard: Phase II of KY 245 road expansion planned (Feb. 9, 2004) [Outside Link], Kentucky Standard: Alignments offer options for roadway expansion (Feb. 9, 2004) [Outside Link]

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[Commonwealth of Kentucky]
State Budge Cuts May Cost Greenup County $200,000 in Funds
Posted: 10-Feb-2004 12:31AM CST
Topics: [Greenup County]

Greenup County faces the lost of $200,000 in highway funding this year due to state budge cuts: Ashland Daily-Independent: Looming budget cuts have county on edge (Feb. 9, 2004) [Outside Link]

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[I-71] [I-75]
Why There Won't Be A Big Dig in Cincinnati
Posted: 8-Feb-2004 11:28PM CST

Columnist Dave Hofmeister of the Cincinnati Enquirer looks at why a tunnel is not among the options for replacing the Brent Spence Bridge (too expensive) and why rerouting I-71 onto I-471 wouldn't serve as a long term solution (it's already overcrowded): Cincinnati Enquirer: Cincinnati Enquirer (Feb. 7, 2004) [Outside Link]

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[Hal Rogers-Daniel Boone Parkway]
Courier Journal Editorial in Favor of More Dual Names
Posted: 8-Feb-2004 11:28PM CST

An editorial writer for the Courier-Journal proposes more dually named highways in addition to the Martha Layne Collins Blue Grass Parkway and the Daniel Boone-Hal Rogers Parkway: Courier-Journal: The more the merrier (Feb. 7, 2004) [Outside Link]

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[Commonwealth of Kentucky]
Conner Asks to Withdraw Guilty Plea
Posted: 8-Feb-2004 11:28PM CST

The scandal that just won.t die: Tina Conner, the former mistress of Gov. Patton, has filed a petition to withdraw her guilty plea to charges that she committed mail fraud to have her business approved by the transportation cabinet as a Disadvantaged Business Enterprise.

More information: Courier-Journal: Conner Asks to Withdraw Guilty Plea (Feb. 7, 2004) [Outside Link]

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[Daniel Boone Parkway]
House Committee Approves Bill Replacing Daniel Boone's Name on Parkway
Posted: 7-Feb-2004 9:01AM CST

A committee of the state general assembly has approved renaming replacing Daniel Boone's name on the parkway running between London and Hazard. The highway was known as the Daniel Boone Parkway until last spring when former Gov. Patton renamed it the Hal Rogers Parkway, in honor of the local U.S. representative. Under the proposed legislation the road would be officially known as the Daniel Boone-Hal Rogers Parkway. The legislation must be approved by the full house before moving onto the state senate.

More information: Associated Press: Developments in the General Assembly (Feb. 5, 2004) [Outside Link], WKYT: Daniel Boone Parkway? [Outside Link], Associated Press: Kentucky House panel OKs proposal to restore Boone's name to parkway (Feb. 6, 2004) [Outside Link], Associated Press: Parkway may be Daniel Boone's again (Feb. 6, 2004) [Outside Link], Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer: Nash highway resolution passes unanimously (Feb. 6, 2004) [Outside Link], Associated Press: Boone, Rogers may share parkway name (Feb. 6, 2004) [Outside Link], Associated Press: Committee OKs putting Boone's name back parkway (Feb. 6, 2004) [Outside Link], Associated Press: Panel votes to restore Boone name to road (Feb. 6, 2004) [Outside Link]

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[Commonwealth of Kentucky]
Transportation Report Says Changed to Transportation Cabinet Could Save Millions
Posted: 7-Feb-2004 9:00AM CST

The report commissioned by General Assembly's Legislative Research Commission has found that changes to the Transportation Cabinet could save the state millions on contracts. Suggested changes include reducing the number of single bid projects; the report found that the state could have saved $54 million on projects over the past two years if there had been competitive bidding.

The report also found that the projects in current plans cost $2 billion more than what the state can afford. The report noted that in 2000, the state legislature rejected a 7-cent increase in the gasoline tax, but approved a six year highway plan that assumed funding from the increased tax. The report suggests that projects be better selected to better fit into a cost-effective overall transportation system.

Among other findings in the report is a claim that the cabinet suffers from a “multiple layers of senior management.”

Republicans in the state senate have suggested adding a new Transportation Cabinet Oversight Subcommittee to the state senate. The subcommittee would have the authority to review all of the cabinets operations and cabinet officials would report to the new subcommittee.

More information: Courier-Journal: Transportation report identifies possible savings (Feb. 4, 2004) [Outside Link], Lexington Herald-Leader: REPORT: STATE OVERPAID FOR TRANSPORTATION JOBS (Feb. 4, 2004) [Outside Link], Associated Press: Senate Republicans want more legislative oversight of Transportation Cabinet (Feb. 4, 2004) [Outside Link], WKYT: Massive Changes Coming To Transportation Cabinet (Feb. 4, 2004) [Outside Link], Associated Press: Lawmakers hear report critical of past management of Transportation Cabinet (Feb. 4, 2004) [Outside Link], Associated Press: GOP wants more road agency oversight (Feb. 5, 2004) [Outside Link], Associated Press: Oversight sought for transit cabinet (Feb. 5, 2004) [Outside Link], Cincinnati Enquirer: Ky. senators seek highway oversight (Feb. 5, 2004) [Outside Link], Bowling Green Daily News: Transportation Cabinet could save millions (Feb. 5, 2004) [Outside Link]

Update (Feb. 8, 2004): More information: Messenger-Inquirer: Bill urges overhaul of Transportation Cabinet (Feb. 8, 2004) [Outside Link]

Update (Feb. 9, 2004): More information: Business First: Opinion: Transportation Cabinet changes long past due (Feb. 9, 2004) [Outside Link]

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[US 23]
Ashland Museum Seeks Grant to Provide More Information about Local Transportation
Posted: 7-Feb-2004 8:59AM CST
Topics: [Boyd County] [US 23]

Ashland’s Highlands Museum & Discovery Center is seeking to a federal grant that would in part be used to provide more information about the affect of transportation on the development of the region.

More information: Ashland Daily Independent: Transportation in spotlight (Feb. 6, 2004) [Outside Link]

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[KY 54]
House Committee Approves Naming of KY 54 in Daviess County after David "Paulie" Nash
Posted: 7-Feb-2004 8:58AM CST
Topics: [Daviess County] [KY 54]

The full House of the state legislature will now consider a bill to rename KY 54 in Daviess County after David "Paulie" Nash. Private First Class Nash of Whitesville was killed when he threw himself on a grenade during the Vietnam War. He was posthumously awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor during the Nixon administration.

More information: Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer: Nash highway resolution passes unanimously (Feb. 6, 2004) [Outside Link]

Update (Feb. 8, 2004): More information: Associated Press: Veterans seek to have Kentucky highway named after Medal of Honor winner (Feb. 7, 2004) [Outside Link]

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[KY 2541]
Greenup Seeks Input on Historic Bridge
Posted: 7-Feb-2004 8:58AM CST

The city of Greenup plans to conduct a survey to determine how local residents feel about the one lane bridge over the mouth of the Little Sandy River. The bridge, which was built in 1884, is slated for demolition later this year.

More information: Ashland Daily Independent: Survey says ... Greenup seeks opinions on historic bridge (Feb. 5, 2004) [Outside Link]

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[Commonwealth of Kentucky]
Candidate for State Legislature Says Kentucky is the 13th most Traveled State; Ranks 47th in Highway Funding
Posted: 7-Feb-2004 8:58AM CST

The Shelbyville Sentinel-News reports that a candidate for state representative in the Democratic primary says that Kentucky is the thirteenth most traveled state; however, it ranks forty-seventh in highway funding. The candidate, Terri Giltner, is a former employee of the transportation cabinet.

More information: Shelbyville Sentinel-News: Two contenders vie to oust Montell from government (Feb. 4, 2004) [Outside Link]

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[I-71] [I-75]
Washington Ricin Scare Disrupts Brent Spence Bridge Lobbying Group
Posted: 7-Feb-2004 8:57AM CST

The group lobbying for federal money to replace the Brent Spence Bridge was affected by the finding of ricin in a senate mailroom. Several meetings had to be cancelled and others were relocated,

More information: (Northern) Kentucky Post: Ricin scare alters plans (Feb. 4, 2004) [Outside Link]

In other bridge news, U.S. Representative Anne Northup of Louisville supports the bridge replacement project. Northup does not represent the region, and her support is said to demonstrate how such a project could help the entire state.

More information: (Northern) Kentucky Post: Rep. Northup supports replacement of bridge (Feb. 5, 2004) [Outside Link]

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[Kentucky's New License Plate]
State Senate Approves a
Posted: 7-Feb-2004 8:57AM CST

The state senate has approved a “Choose Life” special licence plate; however, it rejected an amendment to create a “Protect Choice” license plate. Breast cancer awareness and Kentucky Colonels license plates were also approved. The bill must be approved the state house of representatives.

More information: Lexington Herald-Leader: 'LIFE' PLATE OK'D, BUT NOT 'CHOICE' (Feb. 4, 2004) [Outside Link]

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[I-71] [I-75]
Brent Spence Inadequacies Blamed in Fatal Accident
Posted: 7-Feb-2004 8:57AM CST

Police say the Brent Spence Bridge's lack of breakdown lanes contributed to the death of a motorist.

More information: Cincinnati Enquirer: Bridge's faults help take a life (Feb. 4, 2004) [Outside Link]

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[KY 90]
New KY 90 Lake Cumberland Bridge Ready for New Phase of Construction
Posted: 4-Feb-2004 4:26AM CST
Topics: [KY 90] [Pulaski County]

Work on the new bridge that will carry KY 90 over the eastern end of Lake Cumberland is ready to enter the next phase of construction. Work to construct a bridge pier in the middle of the lake is nearly complete. Work was delayed last spring and summer due to unusual amount of rain.

More information: Somerset Commonwealth Journal: Ky. 90 bridge near ready for next construction phase (Feb. 3, 2004) [Outside Link], Somerset Commonwealth Journal: Photograph of Bridge Pier [Outside Link]

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[I-65]
McConnell Announces That Funding Has Been Secured for Transpark-related Transportation Improvements
Posted: 4-Feb-2004 4:26AM CST

Sen. Mitch McConnell helped to secure $7.25 million in funding for transportation work related to the Bowling Green Transpark. Funded projects include a new I-65 interchange and improvements to US 68/KY 80.

More information: Russellville News-Democrat & Leader: McConnell secures funds for Kentucky Transpark (Feb. 3, 2004) [Outside Link]

Update (Feb. 7, 2004): More information: Associated Press: Transpark lines up $212 million first tenant (Feb. 5, 2004) [Outside Link]

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[I-71] [I-75]
Northern Kentucky Group Lobbying for Inclusion of Brent Spence Bridge Replacement in Federal Transportation Plan
Posted: 4-Feb-2004 4:25AM CST

A group lobbying on behalf of Northern Kentucky leaders is in Washington working to have money to replace the Brent Spence Bridge included in a federal transportation bill.

More information: Cincinnati Post: Delegation lobbying for bridge (Feb. 3, 2004) [Outside Link], Kentucky Post: Bridge funding sought (Feb. 3, 2004) [Outside Link], Kentucky Post: A dangerous bottleneck (Feb. 3, 2004) [Outside Link]

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[US 460]
New US 460 Construction Photos
Posted: 3-Feb-2004 10:34PM CST
Topics: [Pike County] [US 460]

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet has posted a new set of photographs of the US 460 reconstruction project in eastern Pike County: US 460 Online: January 27, 2004 [Outside Link]

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[New Route]
Glasgow Outer Loop Ahead of Schedule
Posted: 3-Feb-2004 9:37AM CST

The front page of Feb. 2's Glasgow Daily Times [Outside Link] includes a photograph of a bridge near US 68-KY 80 that is being built as part of the Glasgow Outer Loop. The Daily Times reports that the project is running ahead of schedule.

Photograph: Glasgow Daily Times: Feb. 2, 2004 [Outside Link]

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[I-71] [I-75]
Brent Spence Bridge Replacement May Require Electric Substation to Move
Posted: 3-Feb-2004 1:50AM CST

Among the many things that will be impacted by the final design for a Brent Spence Bridge replacement is a Cinergy electric substation just west of the current bridge on the Cincinnati side. It would cost $300 million to move the substation.

More information: Cincinnati Post: Bridge routes have $300M question mark (Feb. 2, 2004) [Outside Link]

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[Commonwealth of Kentucky]
Abandoned Railroad Bridge to be Converted for Emergency Use
Posted: 3-Feb-2004 1:50AM CST

An abandoned Illinois Central Gulf railroad bridge over the Tradewater River will be converted into an automobile bridge for use by emergency traffic. The town of Blackford in Webster County is occasionally cut off from traffic during floods; it is hoped this bridge will still open even during high water.

More information: Evansville Courier & Press: Funding near for Tradewater River bridge work (Feb. 2, 2004) [Outside Link]

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[KY 259]
Residents Demand Guardrail on KY 259 Eveleigh Hill in Grayson County
Posted: 3-Feb-2004 1:49AM CST

Several local residents have requested a guardrail be installed on a hill along KY 259 in Grayson County.

More information: Grayson County News-Gazette: Eveleigh Hill: Will it get a guard rail? (Feb. 1, 2004) [Outside Link]

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[Commonwealth of Kentucky]
Frankfort Office Space Comes with a High Price
Posted: 3-Feb-2004 1:45AM CST

The Lexington Herald-Leader reported about the high price of office space in the state.s capital in a couple of weekend articles. It seems that many land deals are to the benefit of real estate investor Rodney Ratliff who is a major contributor to political campaigns; the state spends $2 million in rent each year on properties owned by Ratliff's company. Additionally, the state spent $1.2 million to buy three lots owned by Ratliff for the new transportation cabinet office building. The land was appraised by Franklin County at $92,000.

In other office space related news, Gov. Fletcher's budget proposes spending $46 million to renovate the office building which was formerly home to the transportation cabinet: leaving the building empty for years to come while hundreds of state workers are in rented office space.

More information: Lexington Herald-Leader: Most Frankfort land deals seem to help one man (Feb. 1, 2004) [Outside Link], Associated Press: Fletcher's budget includes $46 million for state office building renovation (Feb. 1, 2004) [Outside Link]

Update (Feb. 3, 2004): More information: Lexington Herald-Leader: 7 floors of luxury for the low price of $113 million (Feb. 1, 2004) [Outside Link], Lexington Herald-Leader: Plans have state spending millions on rent (Feb. 1, 2004) [Outside Link]

Update (Feb. 7, 2004): More information: Lexington Herald-Leader: Lawmakers suggest cheaper renovations (Feb. 5, 2004) [Outside Link]

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