Governor Ernie Fletcher’s Communications Office
Governor Fletcher Announces Significant Highway Investment for Adair County

Press Release Date:  Friday, February 16, 2007  
Contact Information:  Jodi Whitaker

Doug Hogan

Columbia bypass construction nears; Cumberland Parkway work approved

FRANKFORT, Ky. – Governor Ernie Fletcher visited Adair County today to announce highway funding for the city of Columbia and Adair County.  The Governor presented local officials with ceremonial checks totaling approximately $11.7 million for Cumberland Parkway improvements and bridge replacement projects.  The Governor also reiterated his commitment to the new Columbia bypass project, which is a major component of the Heartland Parkway corridor.   

“These are vital investments for the future of Columbia, Adair County and this entire region,” said Governor Ernie Fletcher.  “In particular, the Columbia bypass project will forever change the face of this city.”

Construction work is expected to begin on the $22 million bypass project this spring.

Columbia’s new bypass is one of the first projects in the planned Heartland Parkway which will connect the Cumberland Parkway in Adair County to the Bluegrass Parkway in Washington County.

“The Heartland Parkway project will provide improved access to the many assets this region has to offer, including institutions of higher learning, recreation and business.  My administration is committed to providing improved infrastructure wherever possible to support and grow local economies,” said Governor Fletcher.

The Heartland Parkway corridor also includes an $18 million dollar widening project on KY 55 in Taylor County. Construction crews are expected to begin work on this improvement project in the spring. Other improvements and new highway infrastructure are planned as part of the overall corridor.

“Governor Fletcher understands the importance of having good roads that lead to economic opportunities for all Kentuckians,” said Transportation Cabinet Secretary Bill Nighbert.  “This project exemplifies the level of commitment this administration has for local communities and transportation needs throughout the Commonwealth.”

“We are thrilled that the Governor is bringing us this much-needed funding for our highway infrastructure, and we are looking forward to getting the Columbia bypass started after all these years,” added Sen. Vernie McGaha (R-Russell Springs).

“I am very pleased with the announcement of this important project and want to thank Governor Fletcher for his support,” said Rep. Russ Mobley (R-Campbellsville). “With the strong growth in this area, it is very timely and will help lessen traffic congestion.”

The Governor also presented local officials with a check for $9,789,628 for major resurfacing repairs along 14 miles of the Cumberland Parkway. Work will take place from KY 2982 and extend east to the Russell County line. The project will provide drivers with a rebuilt, smooth driving surface.

Funding for two bridge replacement projects was also presented.  The KY 80 bridge over Russell Creek will be replaced at a cost of $1,638,583.  The KY 92 bridge over Cedar Creek will cost $299,987 to replace. The bridge replacement projects will be paid for with federal construction dollars.