Part of I-69 improvements
FRANKFORT, Ky. (July 23, 2014) — Gov. Steve Beshear today announced the awarding of a contract for more improvements needed to bring a portion of the Breathitt-Pennyrile Parkway up to interstate highway standards and eventual designation as Interstate 69.
The project involves reconstruction of the parkway’s KY 56 interchange near Sebree, in Webster County. Dumey Contracting was awarded the contract on a low bid of $10 million. The project has a completion date of Oct. 1, 2015.
“This is another important step toward completion of I-69 in Western Kentucky,” Gov. Beshear said. “An additional interstate route means additional opportunity for economic development in Western Kentucky and, indeed, throughout the commonwealth. And the improvements being made in the I-69 corridor will result in safer, more efficient travel through the region.”
The contract to Dumey was the second awarded this year for the I-69 corridor. The first, to Hall Contracting of Kentucky Inc., was for improvement of a 36.4-mile stretch of the Breathitt-Pennyrile Parkway in Hopkins, Webster and Henderson counties. It has a completion date of August 2015.
Once complete, I-69 in Kentucky will run north to south from the Ohio River at Henderson to the Tennessee border at Fulton. Completion of the corridor requires improvements to portions of three Kentucky parkways, all of which originally were toll roads – the Breathitt-Pennyrile, Ford-Western Kentucky and Carroll-Purchase parkways.
To date, 55 miles of the corridor are complete — from roughly Nortonville to the interchange of I-24 and the Carroll-Purchase Parkway near Gilbertsville — and bear the red, white and blue shields of I-69.
A major challenge of the I-69 corridor project has been the need to rebuild interchanges that were designed to accommodate drivers who were slowing and stopping at toll plazas — as opposed to merging with or exiting from 70 mph interstate traffic.
Reconstruction of the KY 416 interchange in Henderson County is underway, as is reconstruction of the Pennyrile Parkway-Western Kentucky Parkway interchange, near Nortonville. With the awarding of a contract for a new interchange near Sebree, the only interchange remaining is the KY 813 interchange with the Breathitt-Pennyrile near Mortons Gap. The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet expects to put it out for bids in January 2015.