From the Commonwealth of Kentucky Transportation Cabinet

Gov. Bevin joins Secretary Chao, Congressman Rogers to celebrate $25 million BUILD investment for Pulaski county interchange, road widening

Gov. Matt Bevin today joined U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao, U.S. Representative Hal Rogers, Kentucky Transportation Secretary Greg Thomas and local officials in Somerset to celebrate $25 million in federal funds for an interchange improvement and road widening project on KY 461 in Pulaski County. A $59.5 million Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) federal grant was awarded to the Pulaski County Fiscal Court, Calloway County Fiscal Court, and Owensboro Riverport Authority in December 2018.

“We are grateful to Secretary Chao and the U.S. Department of Transportation for this vital investment in Kentucky’s transportation infrastructure,” said Gov. Bevin. “This $25 million BUILD grant will help to complete Pulaski’s County KY Highway 461 Interchange Improvement Project. This will greatly benefit local residents, regional businesses, and more than 4 million annual visitors to Lake Cumberland. These improvements will enhance safety and reduce traffic congestion, and provide additional momentum for future economic growth.”

New interchanges will replace the current intersections at KY 461 and KY 80, and Valley Oak Drive and Coin Road. This work is a regional priority for south central Kentucky to improve safety, reduce traffic congestion, support area industries and enhance economic development. A three-mile section of KY 461 – a route used heavily by commercial trucks and Lake Cumberland tourists traveling from I-75 – will also be widened from two to four lanes.

“The safety and transportation improvements resulting from this road project will have a regional impact, saving lives at a dangerous intersection that is heavily traveled, providing better access to a high-tech regional industrial park, and paving the way for future development of the northern bypass,” said Congressman Rogers. “I commend the local leaders who diligently advocated for a road project of this magnitude. It is a great example of successful local, state and federal partnerships for economic development. As always, it is a pleasure for Senator McConnell and I to collaborate with the good people of southern and eastern Kentucky to make this region a better place to live.”

Hosted at Somerset Community College, Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) Secretary Greg Thomas and Pulaski County Judge-Executive Steve Kelly also made remarks highlighting the partnership between state and local agencies during the BUILD grant application process. The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet committed more than one-half of the combined project costs and submitted letters of support to the U.S. Department of Transportation to advocate for the improvements.

“This grant is an important investment in Kentucky’s transportation system that not only serves Pulaski County but the entire region,” said KYTC Secretary Thomas. “We’re grateful for the federal, state and local partners who have made it a priority to champion safe, efficient transportation that supports existing businesses and creates access to jobs.”

The design, right-of-way, and utility relocation phases of the project are currently underway, with construction expected to begin in September 2020 and end by mid-2023.

As part of the same BUILD grant announcement, the Calloway County Fiscal Court was awarded $23 million for the reconstruction and widening of US 641 from the Kentucky-Tennessee line to the Clarks River Bridge south of Murray, Kentucky. The existing narrow, two-lane roadway will be widened to a new four-lane highway that meets current design standards. This will improve safety on the high-crash rate corridor used by commercial trucks, commuters and Murray State University students and employees. The completion of the corridor will provide a critical transportation link by connecting Calloway County to I-40 and Paris, Tennessee. The project will also unlock economic development opportunities for the rural southwestern Kentucky region.

Additionally, the Owensboro Riverport Authority was awarded $11.5 million in BUILD funding to improve and widen KY 331 and Rinaldo Road in Owensboro. KY 331 is the main access road to the Owensboro Riverport and supports commercial truck traffic, as well motorists in a nearby residential development. Widening the road near Second and Fourth Street to the end of the railroad tracks following the riverport entrance will improve safety, access to existing industrial sites and promote economic vitality.

The maximum amount of BUILD funding awarded for each project is $25 million, and no more than $150 million of BUILD funding can be awarded to a single state.

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