Governor Ernie Fletcher’s Communications Office
Governor Fletcher Cuts Ribbon on $1.2 Million Project in Henry County
FRANKFORT, Ky. – Governor Ernie Fletcher joined Transportation Cabinet officials and community leaders today to celebrate the completion of a safety improvement project for KY 146 in Henry County. This project improved dangerous curves on a section of KY 146 between Interstate 71 and New Castle, Kentucky.
The Governor was joined by several Henry County High School students. While in middle school, these students placed first in their division of the International Future Problem Solving Conference. Their project, entitled “Curves and Swerves,” researched the accident history of KY 146 and provided solutions for improvement.
“I applaud the efforts of these students for seeing a need in their community and taking the initiative to work on a solution,” said Governor Fletcher. “They demonstrate the unbridled spirit of Kentucky by using creative thinking to solve a community problem. There dedication and hard work has made KY 146 a safer roadway for the citizens of Henry County.”
Work on the improvement project began in August 2005 and is scheduled for completion by August 10, 2006.
“As we decided to tackle the KY 146 project, we realized the enormity of the problem, but had only a small glimmer of hope when it came to actually having work done,” said Roby Foree, one of the seven students involved with the project. “And now, four years later, we are standing next to a brand new road. I think I am speaking on behalf of the group when I say that words cannot describe what it means to be looking over top of this fresh pavement and knowing that we had a small part to play in its reconstruction.”
Transportation Cabinet Secretary Bill Nighbert told the crowd at today’s ceremony at Safety Kleen Recycling that this construction project is another example of how the Transportation Cabinet is committed to fulfilling Governor Fletcher’s vision of providing safe and reliable roads that support healthy economic growth.
“Improving KY 146 has been a long time priority in the community," said Secretary Nighbert. “Through the commitment of the students and educators, elected officials and the Fletcher administration, we were able to make these improvements a reality through the use of federal and state funds.”
State Senator Ernie Harris (R-26) said, “I am pleased that this dangerous curve has been eliminated. This is a much needed improvement for highway 146.”
“Improvements on KY 146 make a safer road for the citizens of Henry County especially those who travel to and from work and school everyday,” said State Representative Rick Rand (D-47).
Each year, Kentucky receives approximately $12 million in federal funding through the Hazard Elimination Safety program (HES). The Transportation Cabinet prioritizes projects to be constructed utilizing 80 percent HES federal funding with 20 percent matching state funds. To qualify for HES funding, a project must meet certain criteria including being located in an area with a high volume of accidents and the project cost cannot exceed $1.5 million.
Hicon Construction of Bardstown performed the construction work on the three quarter mile section of KY 146 at a cost of $1.2 million.
The project extends east from the Bartlett Fork Bridge to the entrance of the Safety Kleen Recycling facility.
Also while in Henry County, Governor Fletcher presented local officials with Transportation Cabinet ceremonial checks. The money will be used for resurfacing various roads in Henry County, the City of Eminence and the City of New Castle. In the past two years local governments have received more additional state funding for their local road systems than at any other time in the history of the commonwealth.