FRANKFORT, Ky. – The business community kicked off construction of a new interchange on Interstate 65 today that will improve connectivity and support increased economic development in Bullitt County.
“In January 2016, we announced the need for a new access point on I-65 and worked with the General Assembly to prioritize funding in the highway plan to get the project moving,” said Gov. Matt Bevin. “I applaud (Kentucky Transportation Cabinet Secretary Greg Thomas) who worked closely with local elected officials and businesses to ensure this project could move quickly from conception to construction. This new interchange will improve connectivity in the southern part of Shepherdsville and will allow better access to facilities that support economic growth and job creation in the area’s growing manufacturing and logistics industries.”
The new interchange will be a traditional diamond design built on I-65 south of Shepherdsville near mile marker 114 between the existing interchanges at KY 245 (Exit 112) and KY 480 (Exit 116). The project includes a new 1.4-mile connector route extending west from I-65 to KY 61 (Preston Highway) and east from the interstate to Ohm Drive and Alpha Way in the Cedar Grove Business Park. This new route will be a three-lane roadway with one travel lane in each direction and a center turn lane.
“This project is a great example of partnership between local, state and federal government to improve infrastructure that supports job growth and mobility,” said KYTC Secretary Greg Thomas. “The City of Shepherdsville helped move this project forward by funding a $4.2 million project to build Alpha Way, which will link the business park and our new road to I-65.”
Having previously served on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee in Congress, event attendee and 2nd Congressional District U.S. Representative Brett Guthrie commented on the important role transportation systems play for residents and businesses.
“It is an honor to join Governor Bevin and Secretary Thomas here today to announce this exciting new interchange on I-65,” said Congressman Guthrie. “The commonwealth is an excellent place to do business, and it is great to see new companies recognizing this and moving to the Bullitt County area. I look forward to the completion of the new interchange and seeing how it will bring even more businesses to the area.”
Senator Dan Seum, of Louisville, shared his appreciation for the cooperation between the various government agencies.
“I am extremely pleased with the announcement of this project,” said Sen. Seum. “Bullitt County benefits when our state and local governments work together to accomplish much needed developments like this. I’d like to thank the Shepherdsville City Council, the Bullitt County Fiscal Court and the Transportation Cabinet for bringing this to fruition.”
The new connector route and interchange will reduce the travel distance between I-65 and the Cedar Grove Business Park from 1.75 miles to 0.7 miles. This commercial development has over 11,000 full-time employees working in the manufacturing and logistics industries. From Thanksgiving through mid-February, this number increases by 5,000 for the Christmas holiday as well as the return season.
By providing additional access to the Cedar Grove Business Park, this project will reduce congestion at the KY 480/I-65 interchange to the north and offer employees another route to enter and exit the park. Bullitt County Economic Development Authority Director John Snider expressed excitement for the new interchange and the impact it will have for the business community and residents in the area.
“We would like to thank Governor Bevin for his support of our county,” said Snider. “We are a fast growing area and the support for our infrastructure as witnessed by today’s announcement means a great deal to all of us. The new interchange will help not only the traffic inside the Cedar Grove Industrial Park but also those residents who live on the Cedar Grove road where they have one road in and out. The interchange will provide a safety factor for our residents.”
Occupants of the Cedar Grove business park—home to major employers like Amazon and Gordon Food Services—will benefit from the new interchange that will support on-time delivery of goods and services. Gordon Food Services employs 600 people and will be the largest commercial truck user once the interchange is complete.
“This construction project is of striking importance to Gordon Food Service’s customers and employees,” said Gordon Food Service Director of Operations Sean Skinner. “We have 250-plus tractor trailers coming to our building per day to deliver goods, services and unload trailers to the distribution center. This project is vitally important to our ability to deliver loads 100% on time to our customers, and also remove 30 to 45 minutes of time that our employees and trucks sit in traffic inside of the business park or on KY 480.”
Construction of the new interchange begins this week, and much of the initial work will involve cross-country excavation of approximately one million cubic yards of rock and soil for building the new connector road. Traffic impacts during the first phase will be minimal and limited to equipment accessing the project area from KY 61.
As part of this project, KY 61 will be closed for several months during construction of the intersection at the new connector route. This road closure will take place during summer months when the Bullitt County Public School system is not in session.
Louisville Paving & Construction was awarded the contract for this project, and construction is scheduled for completion in November 2020.