Nearly six miles of parkway being widened and improved
SALYERSVILLE, Ky. – About one-fifth of the widening and improvements of the Mountain Parkway between Campton and Salyersville will be under construction this summer, marking significant progress for the Mountain Parkway Expansion.
A third construction project starting soon just west of Salyersville will bring a total of six miles of the current Mountain Parkway to the construction phase.
“This marks an important milestone in a project that will eventually close the only gap in a 400-mile, four-lane, high-speed corridor for commerce and mobility across Kentucky from Pikeville to Paducah,” Gov. Steve Beshear said. “As we work to increase economic opportunities for eastern Kentucky through efforts like the SOAR initiative and high-speed broadband, we also have to invest in transportation projects that improve connectivity. An expanded and improved Mountain Parkway represents a better connection to jobs, opportunities and investment.”
The half-century-old Mountain Parkway, which starts at Interstate 64 near Winchester, now ends at its intersection with U.S. 460 in Salyersville. The current parkway east of Campton is a winding, two-lane road. It is being improved and expanded to four lanes throughout.
Construction started earlier this year west of the U.S. 460 intersection. A $28 million contract was awarded this week to Bizzack Construction LLC, of Lexington. The company, which already is constructing a new Gifford Road interchange west of Salyersville, was the apparent low bidder on a project to oversee work around the KY 30 interchange (Exit 72).
The new project includes modernizing and improving the KY 30 interchange as well as realigning and widening about 2 ½ miles of the parkway. The changes will significantly improve safety and mobility in the area.
“The Mountain Parkway Expansion is really taking shape,” said Marshall Carrier, the project manager with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet. “We’ve been clearing the path for a widened parkway, and we’re starting to replace and build structures that will support a better road.”
Next spring, work will begin to extend the Mountain Parkway through Salyersville’s Restaurant Row area and eventually farther east to Prestonsburg. The completed project will create a four-lane, high-speed route all the way to Pikeville.
The entire Mountain Parkway Expansion is expected to be completed in eight to 10 years, depending on the allocation of available funds by the Kentucky General Assembly. The preliminary cost estimate for the project was about $750 million.
The Mountain Parkway Expansion is part of the Shaping Our Appalachian Region (SOAR) initiative aimed at revitalizing areas of Eastern Kentucky that have experienced high rates of unemployment in recent years. SOAR is a bipartisan initiative created by Gov. Beshear and U.S. Rep. Harold Rogers. The initiative seeks solutions to improve the economy throughout Eastern Kentucky and improve the quality of life in the region.