Governor Ernie Fletcher’s Communications Office
Governor Fletcher Breaks Ground on U.S. 27 Widening Project in Garrard County

Press Release Date:  Thursday, September 06, 2007  
Contact Information:  Jodi Whitaker

Robin Jenkins

Governor committed to building ‘modern highway network’

FRANKFORT, KY. – Governor Ernie Fletcher today joined local officials in Lancaster to break ground on the U.S. 27 corridor widening project, signifying the start of construction of this long-awaited improvement.

“We’ve seen tremendous growth in this area, and with it increased traffic. This project will contribute to a modern highway network that will support new economic development and improve the safety of those traveling U.S. 27,” said Governor Fletcher.

“This is a significant project, but it’s only a portion of our commitment to improve the U.S. 27 corridor,” Governor Fletcher said. 

Traffic volume on the highway, currently 18,500 vehicles per day, is projected to double in 20 years to 37,000 vehicles per day.

In the course of the project, five miles of U.S. 27 – from Camp Nelson to roughly the intersection with Ky. 34 – will be widened to four lanes with turn lanes. The estimated cost of construction is $37 million, and the Transportation Cabinet expects completion in fall 2010.

Governor Fletcher and Congressman Hal Rogers cut a ribbon to open a four-lane section of the highway at Somerset on Aug. 31. The Governor’s long-range plan is to widen all of U.S. 27 from Somerset to Lexington.

The widening in Garrard County is a “design-build” project, in which designers and construction contractors proceed simultaneously, making for quick completion.  In most highway projects, design work is completed before a construction contract is awarded. More than 30 states have used the design-build method.

A contract for the project was awarded in August to the design/build team – The Allen Co., HMB Professional Engineers and GRW Engineers.

“This is a wonderful day for Garrard County,” said Rep. Lonnie Napier (R-Lancaster). “This new road is going to be a great asset for the people of Lancaster. Not only will it improve congestion along this heavily traveled roadway, but it will also help support the economy of Garrard County. Governor Fletcher and Secretary Nighbert have worked closely with those of us in the General Assembly to move several of our state’s most important improvement projects forward under this new design/build approach,” he said.

The Kentucky General Assembly authorized the Transportation Cabinet to pursue 10 design-build projects this biennium, and the cabinet has awarded all 10 projects.

“This investment is vital to the future of Garrard County,” Sen. Tom Buford (R-Nicholasville) said. “By working together, we can provide our communities with the resources they need to attract new business while preserving the integrity of our region and ensuring the safety of the traveling public.”

The U.S. 27 reconstruction is estimated to cost $56.9 million, including design, right of way acquisition, utility relocation and construction. A continuation of this project, to widen U.S. 27 from Ky. 34 to the U.S. 150 Bypass, is being designed.

While in Garrard County, Governor Fletcher also announced $500,000 in funding for the resurfacing of various county roads.