Governor Ernie Fletcher’s Communications Office
Governor Fletcher, Transportation Cabinet Approve Guardrail Installation Projects in Magoffin County

Press Release Date:  Thursday, October 12, 2006  
Contact Information:  Jodi Whitaker

FRANKFORT, Ky. – To further Governor Ernie Fletcher's goal of a safe and reliable transportation system in Kentucky, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet has approved two guardrail installation projects in Magoffin County.

Guardrail will be installed along a half-mile stretch of KY 1081 on Mine Fork Hill near Prater Borders Elementary School. This section of highway is traveled twice daily by school buses, and the guardrail installation will help provide a safer route to school for its students, parents and employees.

“My administration is committed to doing all we can to ensure that Kentucky's schoolchildren are safe as they travel to and from school,” said Governor Fletcher. “Installing guardrail on this treacherous hill is a positive step in that direction. We are pleased to make this improvement on behalf of motorists and school children in Magoffin County who use this road every day.”

Students at Prater Borders Elementary took on the lobbying effort for guardrail on Mine Fork Hill as a school project guided by educator Elizabeth Tackett and principal Darrell Patrick. They wrote letters to elected officials and KYTC personnel, requesting guardrail for KY 1081 and expressing their concerns for the safety of those traveling this section of roadway. The students' work was forwarded by Patrick to the proper officials, and he maintained a constant dialogue with the KYTC District 10 office to stay abreast of the project.

“The students saw firsthand what can result when a situation is handled in the proper manner and government officials respond in a positive and timely manner,” Patrick said. "On behalf of the students, parents, community members and staff at Prater Borders Elementary, I extend my thanks to Governor Fletcher, the Transportation Cabinet, State Rep. Ancel Smith and State Sen. Robert Stivers for their response. The Transportation Cabinet staff in the district office and in Frankfort was extremely cooperative and we are grateful to them.”

“We saw this as a real world learning opportunity for our students. They learned that they are a vital part of the community with voices that can be heard from our government and they can get a response from their government when they need assistance with a problem when it is presented in the proper manner. Hopefully, this guardrail will prevent a tragic accident,” Patrick added.

“Under Governor Fletcher's leadership, the Transportation Cabinet has become more efficient and as a result has been able to spend more money on highway construction projects. My district in particular has not seen this type of investment in our highways in the past,” said Sen. Robert Stivers (R-Manchester), who represents Magoffin County in the Kentucky Senate. “The result of Governor Fletcher's efforts has been the funding of much-needed safety projects such as this guardrail installation. We are certainly grateful to the governor for his attention to the needs of this area.”

“This will be a true benefit,” said State Representative Ancel Smith (D-Leburn), who represents Magoffin County in the Kentucky House of Representatives. “I'm glad we will get these guardrails up to protect the people who use this road.”

Another guardrail installation project, costing $65,000, has also been authorized for another section of KY 1081 in Magoffin County. This project involves a 0.75-mile stretch between mile points 4.955 and 5.574.

“Governor Fletcher's goals for Kentucky's state highway system are to boost economic development and improve traffic safety,” Transportation Cabinet Secretary Bill Nighbert said. “These guardrail installation projects are key steps in meeting those goals.”

Contracts for the guardrail installation will be awarded through KYTC's normal competitive bidding process.

Construction activities are scheduled on a tentative basis and are subject to change depending on weather conditions. Motorists are asked to "Drive Smart" in work zones and be aware of workers and construction equipment when traveling in areas where projects are ongoing.