Governor Ernie Fletcher’s Communications Office
Governor Fletcher Announces Nearly $43 Million for Garrard County Community, Highway Projects

Press Release Date:  Tuesday, March 20, 2007  
Contact Information:  Jodi Whitaker

Ryan Watts

Funds for road improvements, highway infrastructure and downtown revitalization

FRANKFORT, Ky. – Governor Ernie Fletcher visited Lancaster today to announce funding for a number of highway and community infrastructure projects in Garrard County.

The centerpiece is a $42 million project to widen the US 27 corridor in Garrard County. The Governor also presented nearly $1 million in ceremonial checks for various Garrard County road improvements and a revitalization project in downtown Lancaster.

“Kentucky needs a modern highway network that leads to new jobs and opportunities.  With the strong growth of commerce in this area, this project is indeed needed to relieve the growing congestion on our roads,” said Governor Fletcher. “I am committed to improving the quality of life for every Kentuckian.  These worthy projects are examples of my commitment to working collaboratively with local officials to build stronger communities across our great state.” 

US 27 will be widened to four lanes, with turn lanes, from Camp Nelson to 1,500 feet south of KY 34. The construction portion of the project is estimated at $23.5 million.  A contractor is expected to be chosen by July, and the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) anticipates project completion by fall 2010.

An innovative design/build approach allows different phases of the project, such as design and construction, to continue simultaneously, and facilitates quicker project completion.  Design/build is a method of highway project delivery that brings project designers and construction contractors together to expedite the implementation of a highway improvement. More than 30 states have used this innovative methodology to advance their projects.

“The US 27 project is a vital component of the transportation network for our community,” said Sen. Tom Buford (R-Nicholasville).  “The design/build approach will accelerate its completion.”

Governor Fletcher also presented a ceremonial check for $325,000 for the resurfacing of various county roads.  The funds are from KYTC state construction accounts.

“These projects are vital to the economic development and traveling safety of residents of Garrard County,” said Rep. Lonnie Napier (R-Lancaster).  “Garrard County is fortunate to receive this important funding under the direction of Governor Fletcher and Transportation Cabinet Secretary Bill Nighbert.”

“These investments are extremely important to the residents of Lancaster and Garrard County,” said Nighbert.  “The US 27 design/build project will help to alleviate the growing congestion on this major highway.  I applaud Governor Fletcher’s leadership on these important projects.”

$500,000 in CDBG funds to renovate Lancaster Grand Theater

Governor Fletcher also awarded a $500,000 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) to local officials for renovations to the Lancaster Grand Theater. The funding will be used to repair the foundation and other structural components. It will also ensure the facility is in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

“The Grand Theater is an important historic landmark,” said Governor Fletcher. “Renovating this facility preserves an important part of our heritage and serves to improve quality of life for residents.”

Once a hub of local culture, the Grand Theater closed in the mid-1960s. The building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and restorations must comply with standards set by the United States Secretary of the Interior. 

The Lancaster Grand Theater Inc., a non-profit organization formed by a group of concerned citizens, is working with local officials to revitalize the downtown area. The preservation of this historic structure and its reopening is part of a larger plan to spur economic growth in the community.

Kentucky’s congressional leaders’ continued support of the CDBG program has made the funding available nationally and within the commonwealth.  The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development makes these funds available through the Governor’s Office for Local Development (GOLD), which administers the CDBG Small Cities program in Kentucky.