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First vehicles to drive on new Mountain Parkway roadway this week

Traffic switch west of Salyersville planned for Wednesday

SALYERSVILLE, Ky. (Nov. 24, 2015) — Motorists this week will be the first to drive on the Mountain Parkway Expansion. A traffic switch is scheduled to take place Wednesday morning between mile points 70 and 71, which will shift both eastbound and westbound traffic from the existing road to what will become eastbound lanes of the expanded Mountain Parkway.

image006Traffic will be restricted to one lane from 8 a.m. until sundown, due to paving, and both lanes may be stopped intermittently throughout the day for short periods of time.

“Our crews are working day and night to advance progress in the expansion of Mountain Parkway,” said Marshall Carrier, a Kentucky Transportation Cabinet engineer who is the project manager. “This is a significant milestone as drivers can begin to use portions of a road that will improve transportation in Eastern Kentucky.”

The new traffic pattern—near the Gifford Road intersection in Magoffin County—will be in place for at least six months. The project schedule depends on weather during the winter season, when crews will complete work on the westbound lanes for this portion of Mountain Parkway. Following completion of the westbound lanes, the Mountain Parkway in this section will be expanded to provide four-lane access.

Construction work is ongoing along a nearly six-mile stretch of the Mountain Parkway, between mile points 69 and 75.  Motorists should prepare to slow to speeds of 45 miles per hour in this area during the construction phase.

Last month, workers began placing nearly 850 tons of concrete beams to create a new bridge that will carry Gifford Road across the Mountain Parkway. The bridge is expected to be completed sometime next year. The interchange at Gifford Road, which will provide access to an industrial park planned just to the north, is scheduled to open to traffic in early 2017.

The Mountain Parkway Expansion is a 46-mile transportation improvement project that will create a wider, safer connection between Eastern Kentucky and the rest of the commonwealth. It is a key transportation project designed to close the only gap in a 400-mile, four-lane, high-speed corridor for commerce and mobility across Kentucky from Pikeville to Paducah. The project will widen 30 miles of the existing parkway from two lanes to four lanes, and will extend the parkway another 16 miles by widening KY 114 between Salyersville and Prestonsburg.