The General Assembly passed the 2014-2016 Biennial Highway Construction Plan last week and Logan County has been allocated $20,860,000 to go towards seven projects, with the largest being the Russellville Southern Bypass.
The first section of the Southern Bypass was completed in 2011 when the road connecting 68-80 to Franklin Road was constructed. The construction of the new road was done by a company called Hi-View. It took 15 months and $3.4 million to complete. The next and final stage will connect the bypass at Franklin Road to Nashville Road and then complete the loop around the city at Clarksville Road. The new section of road will be 4.6 miles long. The Bypass project will receive $19,300,000 in 2016.
“We are very delighted and pleased to have received these funds. We have worked very hard for the completion of the Southern Bypass,” said Tom Harned, Executive Director for Logan Economic Alliance for Development (LEAD). “This will improve transportation throughout Logan County and supply a modern and efficient way for industry to move their product and employees.”
There are also four bridge replacement projects included in the recent monies allocated by the state. They are as follows:
* KY 79 at Motts Lick Creek (Davenport Hill) northeast of Russellville. They are currently working on this project which will straighten out a very curvy section of road where several automobile accidents have occurred. The area is also right down from the Chandlers School. This project will cost $3,550,000.
* KY 664 over Pleasant Run Creek. This bridge was found to be structurally deficient. This project will received $130,000 in 2014 and $460,000 in 2016.
* The bridge on KY 2146 over the town branch will receive $150,000 in 2015 and another $350,000 in 2016.
* A bridge replacement will occur on KY 663 over Pleasant Run Creek. This project will receive $125,000 in 2015 and $200,000 in 2016.
A bridge rehab project will be completed on Logan Mill Road over Red River. This project is allotted $260,000 in 2014 and $550,000 in 2016.
A reconstruction and continuance of four lanes on US 431 from approximately 1.5 miles north of KY 106 east (north of Lewisburg) to WK-9001/Wendell Ford Western Kentucky appeared on the plan, however, this project, according to Representative Martha Jane King, will not be funded anytime soon due to the lack of funding to continue it to the WK parkway.
Logan County Judge-Executive Logan Chick said he is really excited about the announcement and that Logan County was allocated such a large amount. Chick gives credit to Representative Martha Jane King for going to bat for Logan County.
“From the first time I was elected I knew how important the Southern Bypass was for Logan County. I was glad that not only Judge-Executive Logan Chick and LEAD director Tom Harned, but Logan Aluminum and all the businesses got behind this project so we could prioritize it on the state level,” said Rep. King. “I am also thankful to the cabinet secretary and Governor Steve Beshear for realizing how important this is to Logan County, Russellville and the historical district of Russellville.”
King also said she was especially grateful for the funds that are being used on the Davenport Hill project.
“This has been an on-going project, one that needed to be completed,” said King, adding the Logan Mill bridge reconstruction is also one she is happy to see money allocated for. “My constituents in that area were so passionate in restoring this bridge, so I’m glad we got the money to do that project.”
Judge Chick said it looks as if Logan County received the most funding throughout the senatorial district.
“We really appreciate all those who stepped up for this county. The projects will enhance our community and bring about growth and economic development,” Chick said.
The Southern Bypass is a project that has been worked on for years. Its completion will allow a lot of trucks to serve the community’s industry and businesses without having to get close to Russellville’s downtown area, Chick added.
Another project Chick is most happy with is the Davenport Hill bridge replacement and the straightening out of that portion of roadway.
“We have been working towards this project ever since I’ve been judge. Its’ going on over eight years now,” said Chick, adding how this project will bring about additional safety for travelers including school buses, which is of the utmost importance.
The Logan Mill Road bridge restoration project is also near and dear to Chick’s heart. This very old historic iron bridge was near destruction last year, until those who live around it stood up for its survival.
“I’m partial to that bridge,” said Chick. “It’s one of the few iron bridges left in the state of Kentucky. It is a historical place for people to come and visit.”
The funds allotted to the project will go for sand blasting the iron structure, removal of the lead paint and repainting.