FRANKFORT, Ky. — Gov. Andy Beshear announced Tuesday that Kentucky has been awarded $38.1 million in federal discretionary transportation grants for advancement of much-needed bridge and highway improvements in Logan, Todd and Kenton counties and the city of Corbin.
“This is exciting news for many Kentucky drivers and their families. It also is a great opportunity to make investments in infrastructure that will return a direct and beneficial economic impact in each of these regions and beyond,” said Beshear. “Growing our economy requires continuing investments in the infrastructure that moves our goods and our people.”
The funding is part of the BUILD program – Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development. In this case, BUILD grants leverage matching funds from the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) and the local governments.
“BUILD grants are a critical element of our infrastructure improvement planning,” KYTC Secretary Jim Gray said. “In turn, our cabinet and these local governments do their part.”
Awards are for the following projects:
One grant of $15 million will support the widening of U.S. 25W to five lanes from two lanes between KY 727 and the Corbin Bypass (KY 3041). Turn lanes also will be added.
The project is needed is to reduce congestion and improve safety, freight movement and accessibility. Under the city’s plan, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet will administer the project with Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) approval.
The BUILD grant represents 59 percent of the total project cost of $25.5 million. The remainder will include $6.52 million in traditional federal highway funding, just under $3 million from the local government and $981,000 in state transportation funds.
“The city of Corbin is very thankful for our partners at the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, District 11 and the Cumberland Valley Area Development District who were instrumental in their support of this project,” Corbin Mayor Suzie Rasmus said. “This much needed funding will affect many aspects of our region, from school to medical to tourism accessibility.”
Logan and Todd Counties
A grant of $13.5 million will help fund the replacement of four bridges on U.S. 79 between Russellville, in Logan County, and Guthrie, in Todd County. The improvements will greatly facilitate shipments of aluminum between the Novelis automotive aluminum plant in Guthrie and Logan Aluminum in Russellville.
The new bridges will have 12-foot-wide travel lanes and 10-foot-wide shoulders to better accommodate truck and agricultural traffic. The project also will include realignment of the highway’s intersection with KY 346. The improvements will allow for U.S. 79 to be considered for addition to the National Truck Network (NTN) and for over-dimensional (STAA) trucks.
The grant covers 80 percent of the total project cost of nearly $16.9 million. The KYTC will provide $2.7 million in state matching funds while Logan and Todd counties each will provide $300,000.
“U.S. 79 is the second-busiest road in Logan County,” said Logan County Judge-Executive Logan Chick. “By being able to open that road up for a safe large-truck route, it will be an economy boost to Logan and Todd counties.”
Todd County Judge-Executive Todd Mansfield called the BUILD grant award “great news for Logan County and Todd County and our southwest region of Kentucky. The project to replace the four bridges along U.S. 79 is of great need and we are so appreciative of the acknowledgement by this award.”
$9.6 million toward improvements of 1.5 miles of the KY 536 corridor between U.S. 25 in Boone County to KY 1303 in Kenton County. The west end of the project connects to the KY 536 interchange project at I-71/I-75, extending much-needed capacity and safety improvements into the rural communities of Kenton County.
KY 536 will be realigned and widened to four lanes from two, with a raised median. The project will also improve entrances for Kroger, FedEx and the Enterprise V Industrial Park.
The BUILD grant amounts to 80 percent of the $12.05 million total cost. KYTC will provide $2,160,000 in state funds. Kenton County has committed $200,000 and the City of Independence $50,000 as local matches.
“I’m very appreciative of KYTC’s support for Kenton County’s BUILD grant application,” Judge-Executive Kris Knochelmann said. “The Transportation Cabinet has been a strong supporter of this project, which will benefit the cities of Independence and Taylor Mill, as well as other cities across Boone, Campbell and Kenton counties that need better east-west transportation options. The reconstruction of KY 536 will be transformative for Northern Kentucky, and the active engagement of KYTC has been integral to this effort.”
Beshear said the awarding of the BUILD grants resulted from the hard work of many people, including the professional staff of the Transportation Cabinet. “Another critical factor was the outpouring of support from our partners in the Legislature and these local governments,” Beshear said.