Governor Ernie Fletcher’s Communications Office
Governor Fletcher, Transportation Officials Break Ground on KY 80 Construction in Calloway County

Press Release Date:  Thursday, May 25, 2006  
Contact Information:  Brett Hall
Jodi Whitaker
Troy Body

Doug Hogan
Shaunee Lynch

Projects include construction of three sections between Murray and Mayfield

FRANKFORT, Ky. – Governor Ernie Fletcher and Transportation Secretary Bill Nighbert joined Murray and Calloway County legislators and officials today to break ground on three sections of KY 80 between Murray and Mayfield. 

The groundbreaking kicks off work on three contracts totaling more than $25 million for construction of New KY 80 from U.S. 641 North of Murray to near the Calloway-Graves County Line at Coldwater.

“This project is part of a long-term plan to upgrade the transportation network across southern Kentucky to improve safety and to help support economic development,” Governor Fletcher said

“Through the leadership and vision of Governor Fletcher, today’s groundbreaking continues the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet’s commitment to providing safer, reliable roads to enhance the quality of life for Kentuckians,” said Secretary Nighbert.

“We have been working diligently to make improvements to our highway infrastructure,” said Highways Commissioner Marc Williams. “Our first goal is to create a safe and reliable highway system for Kentuckians and people who visit our commonwealth, but it is even better when we can induce economic prosperity at the same time.”

Specifically, the three new sections will replace KY 121 as the prime transportation link between Murray and Mayfield.  KY 121 is a two-lane highway that does not meet modern design standards.  KY 80 will provide a modern limited-access four-lane that will be much safer for the estimated five to seven thousand vehicles a day that travel between Murray and Mayfield.

Jim Smith Construction Company of Grand Rivers was awarded one of the three contracts for $10,454,683.04 to construction of a section of KY 80 from 0.12 of a mile North of KY 1124 to 0.21 miles West of KY 1836, a distance of 6.51 miles.  The work includes asphalt work along with the necessary grade and drain work on the section.  The contract has a scheduled completion date of August 1, 2007.

A joint venture of Haydon Brothers, Inc., and Hayden Bridge, Inc., was awarded a contract for construction of a section from 0.12 miles west of KY 1836 to 0.12 miles east of KY 299, a distance of 3.56 miles.  The contract is for grade and drain work as well as construction of a bridge.  The $7,954,204.14 contract has a completion date in the fall of 2007.

Jim Smith Contracting LLC of Grand Rivers was awarded a contract for $7,230,665.11 for necessary grade and drain work on a section running from 0.12 mile east of KY 299 to U.S. 641 North of Murray.  The 4.87 mile section includes construction of a bridge.  It has a projected completion date in the fall of 2007.

Chief District Engineer Jim LeFevre said the completion of the three sections will open a significant transportation corridor for the district.

“These projects will open a four-lane corridor from Aurora to Mayfield and will greatly increase the safety and reliability of our highway network in district one,” LeFevre said.  “Economic development along this corridor will help bring jobs to the counties and communities along the route.”

Contractors are prepared to begin work immediately on construction of all three sections of KY 80 from the Graves-Calloway County Line to U.S. 641 North of Murray.

Work started last year on a section of KY 80 East of Mayfield in Graves County.  That contract runs from the intersection of the KY 121 Bypass East of Mayfield to just North of KY 1124 in Graves County.  The $15.1 million contract was awarded to Jim Smith Contracting, LLC of Grand Rivers.  The section includes grade, drain and surfacing, as well as six new bridges.  That section is expected to open to traffic between Mayfield and the Coldwater Community in Augusts of 2007.

“I'm extremely happy with the priority on the 68/80 Corridor through western Kentucky,” said Sen. Ken Winters (R-Murray). “The work on this highway comes at an opportune time to help the economic growth of the region. I am elated at getting to participate in this groundbreaking and I’m excited about the contribution this new highway will make to the economic vitality of the area.”

A section of the KY 80 four-lane was opened between Murray and Aurora in the fall of 2004.

“I appreciate Governor Fletcher and Secretary Nighbert keeping this project on the front burner,” said Rep. Melvin Henley (R-Murray). “With a $1.8 Billion shortfall in our Six Year Road Plan, it takes determination and focus to use the dollars we have as efficiently as possible.  This new highway will provide an important new link in Kentucky's transportation system and will contribute to the safety and growth of all the communities it touches.”

When it eventually connects with the Purchase Parkway at Mayfield, KY 80 will provide four-lane access to the Kentucky-Barkley Lakes area from the west and going south into Tennessee.  Additional planning and design work continues on efforts to four-lane U.S. 68 and KY 80 across the Land Between the Lakes to Cadiz.