FRANKFORT, Ky. – Gov. Matt Bevin and Kentucky Transportation Secretary (KYTC) Greg Thomas today announced plans to complete the final segment of KY 30 along the 37-mile corridor that stretches from KY 11 in Booneville to the Hal Rogers Parkway in London. Judge-executives and legislators representing the counties the route serves attended the event in Laurel County to celebrate the much-anticipated project.
“We are excited today to announce the start of construction on the final segment of KY 30 here in Southeast Kentucky,” said Gov. Bevin. “Completion of this long-anticipated transportation project will significantly improve safety, reduce travel times, and create new economic opportunities for residents in Laurel, Jackson, Owsley and adjacent counties.”
At the end of August, a contractor will be awarded the project to straighten the 13.5-mile curvy corridor between US 421 in Jackson County to Travellers Rest in Owsley County, reducing the length by 3.5 miles. A shorter, straighter path means drive times will be cut in half from 21 minutes to 11 minutes. KY 30 is the most direct route from Lee, Jackson and Owsley Counties to I-75 south, businesses in London, western Kentucky, and Tennessee.
“Unwinding and widening this heavily-traveled rural road will improve mobility, sight-distance, and safety for a forecasted 3,200 motorists, commercial trucks, and emergency vehicles that rely on this roadway every day,” said KYTC Secretary Thomas. “Safer roads to better connect the Commonwealth are ahead for this region of the state.”
Work to revamp the entire KY 30 corridor has spanned over 20 years. When the final section announced today is completed, each driving lane will be one foot wider and feature new eight-feet paved shoulders to safely house disabled vehicles and plowed snow.
“Not only will this new corridor make KY 30 a safer road to travel in our region, but it also provides a corridor of opportunity for people who travel between Laurel and Owsley counties for jobs and recreational activities,” said Congressman Hal Rogers. “This long-term project, spanning two decades, reflects the impact of perseverance and successful partnerships at the local, state and federal levels.”
Costs for the construction phase of this federally-funded project are estimated at $63 million.
“This is as significant for Jackson, Lee, Owsley, Wolfe, and Breathitt counties as any other road project in this area of the state, and will help the region as a whole continue to prosper,” said Senate President Robert Stivers.
SOAR has long supported efforts to expand the Mountain Parkway. Executive Director Jared Arnett said the continued support of local, state, and federal leaders has played a crucial role in accelerating this project.
“This project is not about any single community or county, this is about creating an artery to connect business and industry to Appalachia Kentucky,” said Arnett. “This was one of the very first projects we worked on as an organization, and it is amazing to see the progress that has been made to date. This has occurred through a collaborative effort involving people and community leaders from across the region.”
KYTC will begin advertising for bids from contractors on August 2, and the project is expected to be completed by the end of 2022.