Area projects in biennial highway plan

By Mary Ann Kearns - mkearns@cmpapers.com

Several projects, including more than $1 million for restoration of the Grange City Covered Bridge in Fleming County, were among those included in the final 2018-2020 biennial highway construction plan.

The plan was approved by the General Assembly on Monday and sent to Gov. Matt Bevin for his signature.

The road plan was approved unanimously in the Senate and then the House agreed to the changes made in the Senate by a 74-15 vote, according to information from the Kentucky Press Association.

“Overall, I wish we could have done more for Mason, Bracken, Fleming and Robertson counties, but since Kentucky has more needs than revenue, I’m not the only legislator feeling this way,” State Rep. John Sims said Tuesday. “I’ve gotten to know this issue well over the past year as co-chair of the bipartisan House Working Group on Kentucky’s Transportation Infrastructure, which is why I co-sponsored House Bill 609 this year. That legislation would restore some of the revenues we’ve lost due to the volatile nature of the gas-tax law before we modernized it a few years ago. “

“To be competitive economically, a well-maintained highway system is critical, and historically, we’ve gotten high marks in this area,” Sim said. “I want to make sure it stays that way.”

Among the projects which made the cut for Mason County is a pavement project to deal with asphalt over concrete surfaces on U.S. 68 at a total cost of $9 million in 2020 and addressing deficiencies on the William Harsha Bridge also in 2020 for a total cost of $2.8 million.

Several bridge projects were on the list, Mason County Judge-Executive Joe Pfeffer said, and those include repairs to the bridge on U.S. 68 over Lawrence Creek at a cost of $468,000; address deficiencies to the bridge on Kentucky 3056 over the south fork of Lawrence Creek at $1.1 million; addressing deficiencies over a bridge on Davis Lane at a cost of $875,000; addressing deficiencies on the bridge Kennedy Creek Road at a costs of $560,000; and repair a bridge on Dixie Pike at a cost of $60,000.

Mason County’s total funding over the period is about $16 million.

In Fleming County, several bridge projects were also earmarked, including addressing deficiencies on a bridge over Allison Creek on Kentucky 111 at a costs of $2.1 million; addressing deficiencies on a bridge over Fleming Creek on McIntire Road for a total of $725,000; addressing deficiencies on a bridge over Mud Lick Creek on Kentucky 32 for $560,000; and addressing deficiencies on a bridge over a branch of Hillsboro Creek on Kentucky 111 at cost of $1.5 million.

Other Fleming projects include the restoration work on the Grange City Covered Bridge set for 2019 at a cost of $1.2 million.

Funds set aside for Fleming County projects over the biennial total $25.2 million.

Work in the plan for other area counties includes:

Bracken County — $190,000 each in 2019 and 2020 for operation of the Augusta Ferry’ about $4 million over the same period to address deficiencies on a bridge over Holts Creek on Kentucky 8 at Foster. Total for the county in the plan is $4.2 million.

Lewis County — Construct a new bridge crossing the North Fork of the Licking River at the Fleming County-Lewis County line at a costs of $3.6 million; address deficiencies on a bridge over Laurel Fork on Kentucky 1068 for $1 million; address deficiencies on a bridge over Grassy Branch in Kentucky 344 at a cost of $1.9 million; address deficiencies on a bridge over Brierly Creek on Kentucky 1021 at a cost of $1,2 million, Total funds set aside for Lewis County are $7.8 million.

Robertson County — $460,00 for improvements to the curve on Kentucky 616 for a total of $460,000.

By Mary Ann Kearns

mkearns@cmpapers.com