The initial work on the widening of U.S. 25 North is slated to begin the first week of February, setting in motion a project that has been in the works for several years. Next month, the moving of utility lines will begin, though some have already been relocated.
In a meeting of the Berea City Council Tuesday night, City Administrator Randy Stone noted a preconstruction meeting was held regarding the road widening last week. The Allen Company will be handling the project, and assuming it remains on the state’s list of funded roads (pending the budget), it could be completed by the summer of 2019, Stone reported.
According to the plan, U.S. 25 will be widened from two lanes to three from Ellipse Street to the Berea Bypass, with a turn lane in the middle. Additionally, the widening will include shared use paths, lighting, and curbs and gutters. The project is projected to cost $8 million.
Stone said road construction on that busy road will present challenges for the city and local businesses. Just getting to this point has taken persistence, as city officials have been lobbying for the widening of U.S. 25 N. since 2007. Project funding was almost cut last year to $6.2 million, but intervention from State Senator Jared Carpenter (R-34) allowed the city to retain full funding.
On a related note, city officials reported the progress of Berea Bypass Phase II has made “slight headway” after a law firm was recently hired to secure right of way for entry in a couple of locations along the route. It’s currently unknown when that project will begin.