The McCreary County Record

Local News

April 23, 2014

Local road projects make budget

McCreary gets small piece of $5 billion pie

FRANKFORT —  The 2014-16 biennial highway construction plan passed last week by the Kentucky legislature includes just over $31 million for two projects in McCreary County.

    The plan includes $5.1 billion worth of projects throughout the state but as much as 25 percent will be set aside in case some projects are delayed by environmental concerns or land acquisition holdups.

    McCreary County was never a major contender for funding but the plan does include $1.19 million to construct a left turn lane on US 27 into Somerset Community College’s McCreary Center in Whitley City next fiscal year. For the reconstruction of KY 92 from KY 592 at Davis Hill to the Whitley County line, the plan includes $1.225 million for utility relocation in Fiscal Year 2015 and $29 million for actual construction in FY 2016.

    This being an election year, the two-year road plan ended up a major point of contention between the Republican-controlled Senate and Democrat-controlled House. While the Senate included the McCreary projects, the House initially passed a draft that omitted them entirely.

    As late as last Monday, Republican and Democrat leaders said it was unlikely they would reach a deal but lawmakers emerged from hours of closed-door meetings Tuesday — the final day of the session — to say they had reached an agreement both bodies could pass just as the session adjourned.

    While the road plan is just a plan and some projects can languish without funding for years, highway officials do seem committed to completing KY 92.

    The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet unveiled its design for the final 4.4-mile stretch last October. At that time, $5.64 million had already been earmarked by the General Assembly for right-of-way acquisition. Highway officials at the time noted that most projects reaching that point of land acquisition do eventually go through.

    The road plan must be signed into law by Governor Steve Beshear before it becomes official. Beshear released a statement last Wednesday thanking legislators for passing the Transportation budget on time.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.

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