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May 2005

The items listed below are KentuckyRoads.com news items from May 2005. For the most recent updates see the KentuckyRoads.com home page.

[US 119]
Eastern Kentucky Road Enthusiast Meet This Saturday, Pikeville
Posted: 20-May-2005 1:51AM CDT
Topics: [Pike County] [US 119]

 [Map of US 119 in Northern Pike County]

H.B. Elkins will be hosting an Eastern Kentucky Road Enthusiast Meeting this Saturday, May 21 in Pikeville.

Date and Time:
Saturday, May 21, noon EDT

Location:
Reno's Roadhouse
4053 North Mayo Trail (US 23)
Pikeville, KY 41701
(606) 218-1163
www.renosroadhouse.com [Outside Link] (for location and menus)

After lunch, the group will go on an informal tour of the US 119 reconstruction project north of Pikeville.

For more information or to RSVP, please contact H.B. Elkins at kyroadgeekreply@yahoo.com [Outside Link].

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[US 68]
New Stop Signs on Elkton Square
Posted: 20-May-2005 1:25AM CDT
Topics: [KY 181] [KY 80] [Todd County] [US 68]

New stop signs will be installed on the square in downtown Elkton.

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[KY 90]
Improvements Coming to KY 90 in Barren County
Posted: 20-May-2005 1:22AM CDT
Topics: [Barren County] [KY 90]

3.9 Miles of Cave City Road in Barren County will be repaved this year.

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[US 60]
Improvements Coming to US 60 in Boyd County
Posted: 20-May-2005 1:19AM CDT
Topics: [Boyd County] [US 60]

Nearly a half-million dollars in improvements—including resurfacing and installation of reflectors—are slated for US 60 in Boyd County: Ashland Daily Independent: Resurfacing, markers slated for area roads (May 19, 2005) [Outside Link]

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[US 23]
U.S. Grant Bridge Project On Track for October 2006 Opening
Posted: 20-May-2005 1:19AM CDT

Progress is once again visible on the U.S. Grant Bridge south of Portsmouth, Ohio. A new bridge is being constructed over the Ohio River on the site of a bridge demolished in 2001. The Ohio Department of Transportation has a scheduled opening date of October 31, 2006 for the new bridge.

More information: Ashland Daily Independent: Bridge to Portsmouth shows signs of progress (May 19, 2005) [Outside Link]

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[Commonwealth of Kentucky]
Speed Limit Lowered on Cross-Covington Route
Posted: 20-May-2005 1:19AM CDT

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet has agreed to lower the speed limit on Hands Pike (KY 1501): Cincinnati Enquirer: Hands Pike drivers have to slow down (May 19, 2005) [Outside Link]

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[Commonwealth of Kentucky]
U.S. Senate Passes Highway Bill
Posted: 20-May-2005 1:18AM CDT

The U.S. Senate recently passed their version of the “Transportation Equity Act.” The senate version of the bill must now be reconciled with the house version of the bill. The president has threatened to veto bill if Congress cannot limit the cost of the bill to $284 billion.

I will report on the sections of the bill relating to Kentucky once a conference version is prepared.

More information: Associated Press: Senate approves huge highway bill (May 17, 2005) [Outside Link], U.S. Library of Congress: Status of H.R. 3 [Outside Link]

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[Commonwealth of Kentucky]
May 15-21 is National Transportation Week
Posted: 20-May-2005 1:18AM CDT

The week of May 15-21 is National Transportation Week: Kentucky Transportation Cabinet: National Transportation Week is Celebrated May 15 – 21 (May 17, 2005) [Outside Link]

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[Commonwealth of Kentucky]
More on Alleged Violations of Hiring Practices
Posted: 20-May-2005 1:14AM CDT

Several news reports this week shed more light on the alleged violations of the state’s hiring merit system in the Transportation Cabinet under Gov. Fletcher. Douglas W. Doerting, assistant director of personnel in the cabinet, alleged in a formal complaint that the hiring decisions were made using an “illegal political patronage” system.

On Tuesday a search warrant was served on the Governor’s office.

A letter from the Federal Highway Administration detailing how the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet had failed to meet its Affirmative Action goals has also surfaced. It was reported that he U.S. government might freeze $600 million in Kentucky road projects because the Transportation Cabinet hired almost no minorities in 2004: of 317 merit employees hired during that time 97% were white; however, later reports claimed there was no immediate threat of the freezing of road funds.

More information:

A complete record of the Courier-Journal’s coverage of the hiring investigation can be found here: Courier-Journal: Merit System Investigation [Outside Link]

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[Commonwealth of Kentucky]
More on State Vehicle Study
Posted: 20-May-2005 1:14AM CDT

[State Vehicle Inspection] 

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet has released a press release concerning the Governor’s state-owned vehicle inspection initiative: Kentucky Transportation Cabinet: Governor Ernie Fletcher’s Comprehensive State Vehicle Study Begins (May 16, 2005) [Outside Link]

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[Commonwealth of Kentucky]
Roebling Bridge to be Repainted
Posted: 20-May-2005 1:13AM CDT

Barring any unforeseen problems, the Roebling Suspension Bridge over the Ohio River at Covington will be repainted next summer: Kentucky Post: River Rainbow (May 14, 2005) [Outside Link]

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[The Ohio River]
Some Fear that Indiana’s History is being Buried
Posted: 20-May-2005 1:13AM CDT

A Southern Indiana historical society fears that Southern Indiana’s history is being buried under a collection of landfills. One of the landfills has received and provided construction materials for projects such as the Kennedy Bridge and reconstruction of I-65 in Southern Indiana: Courier-Journal: Clarksville down in the dumps; Some fear fort buried by debris (May 16, 2005) [Outside Link]

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[US 119]
Eastern Kentucky Road Enthusiast Meeting: May 21, Pikeville
Posted: 16-May-2005 4:52AM CDT

H.B. Elkins will be hosting the Eastern Kentucky-Central Appalachia Road Enthusiast Meeting this coming Saturday, May 21 at noon EDT at Reno’s Roadhouse in Pikeville, Kentucky. Afterwards there will be an informal tour of the US 119 reconstruction project in Northern Pike County. If you are interesting in attending, please RSVP to H.B. Elkins at kyroadgeekreply@yahoo.com [Outside Link].

More information: H.B. Elkins: Eastern KY-Central Appalachian roadgeek meeting -- one-month notice (April 26, 2005) [Outside Link], H.B. Elkins: Eastern KY roadgeek meeting info (May 16, 2005) [Outside Link]

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[KY 163]
Options for Tompkinsville Bypass Presented
Posted: 16-May-2005 4:41AM CDT
Topics: [KY 163] [Monroe County]

The Tompkinsville News reports that around 40 people attended a public meeting on May 5th to discuss alternatives for a KY 163 Bypass of Tompkinsville. A final decision on the preferred route is expected next year.

More information: Tompkinsville News: By-Pass public hearing held (May 14, 2005) [Outside Link]

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[Commonwealth of Kentucky]
Drivers Urged to Use Caution in Work Zones
Posted: 16-May-2005 4:33AM CDT

[Transportation Cabinet official Tim Henderlight set up a desk in a highway work zone in Breathitt County Friday to make his point as he discussed the need for driving safely in construction zones.]

Transportation Cabinet official Tim Henderlight set up a desk in a highway work zone in Breathitt County Friday to make his point as he discussed the need for driving safely in construction zones. Henderlight held a news conference to discuss work zone safety in Eastern Kentucky at the site of a $37 million construction project to relocate KY 15 and widen it to four lanes. Photo by H.B. Elkins, District 10 PIO.

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[Commonwealth of Kentucky]
Rock and Mud Slides Close Two Floyd County Highways
Posted: 16-May-2005 4:08AM CDT
Topics: [Floyd County] [KY 194] [KY 404]

Heavy rains in April caused mudslides that forced the temporary closure of parts of KY 404 and KY 194 in Floyd County.

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[Commonwealth of Kentucky]
State Government Vehicle Inspections to Take Place This Week
Posted: 16-May-2005 4:05AM CDT

State government vehicles will be inspected at various places across the state this week. This is part of Governor Ernie Fletcher’s comprehensive state vehicle study

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[KY 259]
KY 259 Widening Project Moves Forward
Posted: 16-May-2005 3:55AM CDT

A preferred alternative has been chosen for the proposed reconstruction of KY 259 from the Green River to Kyrock in Edmonson County.

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[Commonwealth of Kentucky]
Kentucky Transportation Cabinet Nearing Completion of LED Signal Upgrades
Posted: 16-May-2005 3:46AM CDT

Kentucky Transportation Cabinet Press Release:

Frankfort, KY (May 2, 2005)—The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) has successfully completed 80% of the LED signal upgrades throughout the Commonwealth. The remaining upgrades are expected to be complete by early summer and result in projected savings of more than $3.2 million a year to taxpayers as well as improved safety at intersections.

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[Commonwealth of Kentucky]
Transportation Cabinet Hiring Practices Probed
Posted: 16-May-2005 12:04AM CDT

The state is investigating allegations that hiring in the Transportation Cabinet has been based on political affiliations instead of qualifications: Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer: State road department hiring probed (May 15, 2005) [Outside Link]

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[Louisville - Jefferson County]
Countdown Signals Installed Throughout Louisville
Posted: 16-May-2005 12:04AM CDT

“Countdown” pedestrian signals have been installed at a number of Louisville crosswalks. These signals include a countdown timer to indicate how much time a pedestrian has to cross the street before the signal changes.

More information: Lousville Courier-Journal: 'Don't Walk' signs eliminate guesswork (May 14, 2005) [Outside Link]

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[US 42]
Clay Wade Bailey Bridge Project Wraps Up
Posted: 16-May-2005 12:04AM CDT

A project to rehabilitate the Clay Wade Bailey Bridge was recently completed: Cincinnati Post: Clay Wade Bailey in good repair (May 14, 2005) [Outside Link]

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[US 68] [KY 80]
US 68/KY 80 Widening Project Completed in Warren County
Posted: 16-May-2005 12:04AM CDT
Topics: [KY 80] [US 31] [US 68] [Warren County]

A project to widen a stretch of US 68/KY 80 in northern Warren County was completed this week.

More information: Bowling Green Daily News: U.S. 68 opens today with additional 3 lanes (May 13, 2005) [Outside Link]

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[Commonwealth of Kentucky]
Federal Court Reinstates Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Lawsuit
Posted: 16-May-2005 12:03AM CDT

A federal appeals court recently reinstated parts of a lawsuit against the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet that claims the Cabinet inappropriately classified some companies as “disadvantaged businesses”—a designation that provided those companies with special consideration in some contracts: Associated Press: Federal court reinstates lawsuit against Transportation Cabinet (May 12, 2005) [Outside Link]

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[US 79]
Debate Continues over Faulty Guardrails in Tennessee
Posted: 16-May-2005 12:03AM CDT
Topics: [Tennessee]

The president of a company accused of installing faulty guardrails on Tennessee road projects claims his company did nothing wrong: WPSD NewsChannel 6: Tennessee: Faulty Guardrail Debate (May 10, 2005) [Outside Link]

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[Commonwealth of Kentucky]
Questionable Change Orders Funneled Millions of Additional Dollars to Road Contractors
Posted: 16-May-2005 12:03AM CDT

A recent report on change orders issued by the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet determined that no intentional misuse has taken place; however, new controls on change orders have been placed.

A change order allows for payment in excess of the contract originally approved for a project; change orders are used to pay for unforeseeable events that occur during the completion of a project.

More information: Lexington Herald-Leader: Questionable change orders to state highway contracts put millions into road builders’ pockets, according to report (May 6, 2005) [Outside Link], Louisville Courier-Journal: Study says contractor influence raised cost; Kentucky finds no evidence of criminal wrongdoing (May 7, 2005) [Outside Link], Associated Press: Contractor influence cited in costly change orders (May 7, 2005) [Outside Link], Lexington Herald-Leader: Change orders criticized in report (May 7, 2005) [Outside Link]

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[Commonwealth of Kentucky]
Freight Summit Held
Posted: 16-May-2005 12:02AM CDT

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet and the Federal Highway Administration held a “freight summit” in Frankfort last week to discuss issues related to the conveyance of freight, both locally and globally.

More information: Business First of Louisville: Transportation Cabinet to hold first freight summit (May 6, 2005) [Outside Link]

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[US 60]
250 People Attended Recent US 60 Public Meetings
Posted: 16-May-2005 12:02AM CDT

250 people attended recent public meetings to discuss widening US 60 between Henderson and Morganfield: Union County Advocate: 250 Attend Two Nights of Public Meetings on New U.S. 60 Route Between Morganfield & Henderson (May 4, 2005) [Outside Link], Union County Advocate: Waverly U.S. 60 Public Meeting (Letter to the Editor, May 4, 2005) [Outside Link]

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[New Route]
Mason County Home Moved to Make Way for Bypass
Posted: 16-May-2005 12:02AM CDT
Topics: [Mason County]

An entire home was moved recently to make way for a new bypass around Maysville: Maysville Ledger-Independent: House yields to new Maysville bypass (May 4, 2005) [Outside Link]

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[AA Highway]
“Drive Smart” Program comes to AA Highway
Posted: 16-May-2005 12:01AM CDT

Last week the Kentucky State Police and the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet’s Division of Driver Safety held “Operation Drive Smart Blitz” along the AA Highway: Maysville Ledger Idependent: Campaign to enforce traffic safety on the AA Highway coming May 8-14: Operation Drive Smart Blitz (May 4, 2005) [Outside Link], Cincinnati Enquirer: AA Hwy. patrols beefed up (May 8, 2005) [Outside Link], Ashland Daily Independent: State pushes drive smart on A-A (May 12, 2005) [Outside Link]

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[US 231]
Budget for US 231 Southern Indiana Widening Project in Question
Posted: 16-May-2005 12:01AM CDT

Budget concerns in Indiana may delay a project to widen US 231 in Southern Indiana from the Natcher Bridge to I-64. The priority of unstarted highway projects has been under review since Gov. Mitch Daniels took office in January. Under the revised 10-year plan the US 231 widening project might be delayed until 2014.

Local leaders (including officials from Daviess County in Kentucky) met with Indiana’s Gov. Mitch Daniels last week and were assured that while the project would be delayed, it would not be delayed until 2014.

More information: Evansville Courier&Press: Officials upset over potential U.S. 231 delays (May 4, 2005) [Outside Link], Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer: U.S. 231 expansion on hold (May 4, 2005) [Outside Link], Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer: Officials: U.S. 231 expansion project back on track (May 12, 2005) [Outside Link]

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[US 68]
Route Chosen for South Russellville Bypass
Posted: 16-May-2005 12:01AM CDT

A route has been chosen for the proposed southern bypass of Russellville. The chosen route was the longest of three alternatives considered and will connect at the existing northern bypass at both ends. Right-of-way purchase for the eastern leg of the bypass (between US 68/KY 80 and KY 100) is expected to begin this year.

More information: Bowling Green Daily News: Logan selects route for bypass (May 3, 2005) [Outside Link], Logan County News-Democrat & Leader: Commissioner says Southern Bypass coming (May 3, 2005) [Outside Link]

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[KY 17]
Covington Traffic Study Conducted
Posted: 16-May-2005 12:00AM CDT

Covington city officials recently helped the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet perform a traffic study to examine patterns of traffic coming from the Roebling Suspension Bridge: Cincinnati Enquirer: Traffic patterns getting hard look (May 3, 2005) [Outside Link]

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[US 68]
US 68 400 Mile Yard Sale: June 2-5
Posted: 16-May-2005 12:00AM CDT

The annual 400 Mile Sale stretching along US 68 from Maysville to Paducah will be held June 2-5: Maysville Ledger-Independent: A 400 mile opportunity: Yard sale is a big chance for buyers and sellers (May 1, 2005) [Outside Link], West Kentucky Corporation: 400 Mile Sale Across Kentucky [Outside Link], Logan County News-Democrat & Leader: 400 Mile events listed along U.S. 68-80 (May 10, 2005) [Outside Link]

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[Commonwealth of Kentucky]
Residents Upset over Condition of Kenton County Road
Posted: 16-May-2005 12:00AM CDT

Residents would like to see improvements to Senour Road in Kenton County; however, no money for such improvements exists in the state’s budget. A speed limit cut has been proposed to ease safety issues.

More information: Cincinnati Enquirer: Who Can Fix this Bad Road? (May 2, 2005) [Outside Link], Cincinnati Enquirer: Patching, not repaving, near for Senour Road (May 3, 2005) [Outside Link], Kentucky Post: Senour work has to wait; Speed limit may be cut on deteriorating road (May 12, 2005) [Outside Link]

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[US 31E]
Nelson County US 31E Project Moves Forward
Posted: 15-May-2005 11:59PM CDT
Topics: [Nelson County] [US 31]

The Transportation Cabinet recently released funds to complete the design of a project intended to improve safety on US 31E in Nelson County: Bardstown Kentucky Standard: Funds to be made available for U.S. 31E project (May 1, 2005) [Outside Link]

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