Governor Ernie Fletcher’s Communications Office
Governor Ernie Fletcher Dedicates Paul E. Patton Highway in Pike County

Press Release Date:  Monday, October 30, 2006  
Contact Information:  Jodi Whitaker

Sara George

Section of U.S. Highway 119 named for former Kentucky governor

FRANKFORT, Ky. – Governor Ernie Fletcher dedicated a section of U.S. Highway 119 as the “Paul E. Patton Highway” during a ceremony in Pike County today.  Governor Paul Patton and First Lady Judi Patton attended the event, which was held at the site of the Pinson Family Bridge. 

“Paul Patton was elected by the people of Kentucky to serve as their governor for two successive terms and diligently worked to improve the quality of life for the people of Pikeville and Pike County over several decades of public service,” said Governor Fletcher.  “He was instrumental, both as governor and as co-chairman of the Appalachian Regional Commission, in accelerating infrastructure improvements across Eastern Kentucky.  The naming of this highway in his honor is well-deserved.”

The Paul E. Patton Highway runs almost 20 miles, from the intersection of U.S. 119 and U.S. 23 at Buckley’s Creek to the West Virginia state line at South Williamson.  Part of the highway is currently under construction.

Patton learned recently of the plans to name the highway in his honor.

“Judi and I are humbled by this gracious gesture on the part of Governor Fletcher and the state Transportation Cabinet,” said Governor Patton.  “This road in particular, U.S. 119, means so much to the future of growth not only Pike County, but in all of Eastern Kentucky.  We were fortunate to have a part in moving the project along.”

Four sections of the road, from Burning Fork to Johns Creek, are expected to be finished by the end of 2006.  One remaining section, from Johns Creek to Bent Branch (the Scott Fork Section), is scheduled for completion in early 2008.  The total cost of the reconstruction will be almost $400 million.  It is funded by both state and federal dollars through the Appalachian Regional Commission’s Appalachian Project Development Program.