Governor Steve Beshear's Communications Office
Gov. Beshear Announces Designation of KY 80 in Pulaski, Laurel Counties as Extension of Hal Rogers Parkway
Creates new terminus of parkway in longtime congressman’s hometown, Somerset
SOMERSET, Ky. – Gov. Steve Beshear today announced the designation of KY 80 in Pulaski and Laurel counties as an extension of the Hal Rogers Parkway, honoring the longtime congressman from Kentucky’s 5th District.
In a surprise ceremony at Somerset, Gov. Beshear unveiled one of the new highway signs that crews will begin installing later this week. With the extension, the western end of the parkway will be at KY 914 in Somerset, Congressman Rogers’ hometown.
“For 35 years, Hal Rogers has served not only the people of his congressional district but the citizens of the entire Commonwealth, especially through his particular expertise in transportation,” Gov. Beshear said. “This action I’m announcing today is just a small token of appreciation for Congressman Rogers’ many years of public service.”
The new designation, done by order of Kentucky Transportation Secretary Mike Hancock, on Gov. Beshear’s behalf, applies to KY 80 from its intersection with KY 914 on its western end to its intersection with the existing Hal Rogers Parkway in London. It is approximately 40 miles of roadway.
“I am honored by Governor Beshear’s decision to extend my namesake parkway, closing the gap between the Hal Rogers Parkway and my hometown,” said Congressman Rogers. “One of my proudest moments was removing the toll booths from the roadway in 2003 for the people of southern and eastern Kentucky. It is a privilege to serve the great people of this region, and my family and I will forever cherish this recognition.”
The sign unveiling ceremony was scheduled to coincide – as a surprise – with an Appalachian Regional Commission conference Congressman Rogers was attending in Somerset.
Gov. Beshear and Congressman Rogers have exemplified bipartisan cooperation and collaboration through their joint creation of the future-facing initiative called Shaping Our Appalachian Region – SOAR. Its mission is to expand job creation, enhance regional opportunity, innovation, and identity, improve quality of life, and support all those working to achieve these goals in Appalachian Kentucky. Part of the overall SOAR initiative is Gov. Beshear’s plan to extend and expand the Mountain Parkway to complete a badly needed four-lane corridor for improved commerce and highway safety.
Nowhere else in the Commonwealth is the need for new roads and improved aviation access more apparent than in southern and eastern Kentucky. Over his many years in the nation’s capital, Congressman Rogers has worked with local, state, and federal officials to direct millions of dollars in funding for Kentucky’s Appalachian Highways. Notable projects include U.S. 119 over Pine Mountain in Letcher County, once one of Kentucky’s most treacherous roadways, and completion of the Cumberland Gap Tunnels, which safely carry thousands of cars on U.S. 25E between Kentucky and Tennessee each day, and have opened up the region to tourism and new business.