$26.5 million project completes 5-mile stretch between Sandy Hook and Carter County
“This $26.5 million project will complete a series of major improvements along the KY 7 corridor north of Sandy Hook,” Beshear said. “The result will be a safer roadway, new bridges and easier access through Elliott County.”
The project involves rebuilding and widening about five miles of KY 7 (Sandy Hook-Grayson Road) from just north of KY 706 to the Carter County line. Construction is set to begin soon after utilities are relocated.
Improvements along KY 7 in Elliott County began in 1997 with a project that focused on a section from KY 557 at Sandy Hook north to the KY 32 intersection near Newfoundland. Work included a new, major bridge crossing of the Little Sandy River at Laurel Gorge, which bypassed a narrow and curvy section of highway.
“This is an important project, not only for Elliott County, but the surrounding region,” said Rep. Rocky Adkins, D-Sandy Hook. “The completion of KY 7 will improve safety for the traveling public and will enhance economic opportunities for our communities. This project has been one of my top priorities throughout my 26 years of legislative service.”
By 2004, work was under way to reconstruct KY 7 through Newfoundland to near KY 885, which included another new bridge crossing the Little Sandy River. This section of highway improved access to residents, schools and the newly constructed Little Sandy Correctional Complex.
“It is important that we use our transportation funds wisely, and this is a good example of a very effective use of funds to improve safety and increase performance on KY 7,” said Sen. Walter Blevins, D-Morehead. “It’s great to see continued progress on Kentucky roads. Rocky and I have been a great team working for improvements for Elliott County and eastern Kentucky.”
The third phase, which finished in 2010, focused on the realignment of 1.49 miles of KY 7 from the KY 32 intersection downtown to near KY 557 with wider and straighter through lanes and additional turn lanes to increase vehicle capacity and safety.
This next phase of improvements that starts in July – along five miles of the highway north of KY 706 – will complete the rebuilding of KY 7 between the Carter County line and downtown Sandy Hook, turning a once twisting and congested roadway into a wider and more direct thoroughfare.
Greer Mining Inc. of London won the contract for the work with its low bid of $26,546,077. The contract specifies 530 working days, giving contractors about three years to complete the project.
The overall project has been in construction for 16 years, and the combined investment will total more than $60 million.