Governor Ernie Fletcher’s Communications Office
Governor Fletcher Breaks Ground on I-75/KY 92 Interchange Project in Whitley County

Press Release Date:  Wednesday, September 26, 2007  
Contact Information:  Jodi Whitaker

Miranda Thacker

Governor committed to building ‘modern highway network’

FRANKFORT, Ky. – Governor Ernie Fletcher today joined state and local officials in Williamsburg to break ground on the I-75/KY 92 interchange project – a long-awaited improvement that will mean greater safety and less traffic congestion for motorists in Whitley County.

“We’ve seen tremendous growth in this area, and with it increased traffic,” said Governor Fletcher.  “This project will contribute to a modern highway network that will support new economic development and improve the safety of those traveling on I-75 and KY 92.  I am committed to improving the quality of life for every Kentuckian.  This project is an example of our commitment to work with local officials to build stronger communities across our great state.” 

The project involves reconstruction of the I-75/KY 92 interchange at Exit 11.  The single point, urban interchange is the first of its type in the area.    In addition, KY 92 will be expanded from two to four lanes at the interchange and will include turn lanes to handle increased traffic volume.  KY 92 currently bears 17,000 vehicles per day, and its load is projected to nearly double to 30,000 vehicles per day by 2027.

It is a design/build project, in which design and construction can proceed at the same time, allowing projects to be completed more quickly.  Most highway projects go through a design–bid–build process, in which design work is completed before a construction contract is awarded. Design/build is a method of highway project delivery that brings project designers and construction contractors together to expedite a project. More than 30 states have used this innovative methodology.

“This is a wonderful day for Whitley County,” said Senate President David L Williams (R-Burkesville). “This new road is going to be a great asset for the people of our entire area. Not only will it improve congestion along this heavily traveled roadway, but it will also help support the economy of Whitley 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.”

A contract for the project was awarded in February to the design/build team of Kay and Kay Contracting and Vaughn and Melton Engineers.

The Kentucky Legislature authorized the Transportation Cabinet to pursue 10 design/build projects in the current biennium. The cabinet has awarded eight of the projects.

“The improvements we are about to make here are extremely important to the community and the surrounding area,” said Transportation Cabinet Secretary Bill Nighbert. “This project is a perfect example of Governor Fletcher’s ability to recognize that improvements to highway networks at the local level are critical to enhancing the economic strength of individual communities throughout the commonwealth.”  

“This investment is vital to the future of Whitley County,” Rep. Charles Siler (R-Williamsburg) 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 total cost of the interchange reconstruction project is estimated at $6.8 million. An additional project, to reconstruct KY 92 to the McCreary County Line, is to be awarded in November, and $46 million has been allocated.