Governor Ernie Fletcher’s Communications Office
Governor Fletcher Breaks Ground on Christian County Transportation Project
$29.8 million extension project, funding announced for Safe Routes to School
FRANKFORT, Ky. – Governor Ernie Fletcher today broke ground for a $29.8 million project to extend a vital transportation artery in Christian County.
The Governor joined officials of the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet and local government for the ceremony in Hopkinsville.
“This project will contribute to a modern highway network that will support new economic development and improve the safety of those traveling Pennyrile Parkway,” said Governor Ernie Fletcher. “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 the Commonwealth.”
This section of the project will further extend the Pennyrile Parkway, which eventually will connect with Interstate 24. The parkway currently ends at the U.S. 68 Bypass. With the extension, it will cross over Lovers Lane in Hopkinsville. The project will offer improved access to the James E. Bruce Convention Center and the Hopkinsville branch of Murray State University. The new Pennyrile Parkway will strengthen the local economy and provide new jobs through the development of new commercial and development ventures.
“The Pennyrile Parkway project exemplifies efforts to open doors to new opportunities for Kentuckians,” said Governor Fletcher. “Moving forward with this project will ease traffic congestion in the area and provide better access to the region.”
“I'm glad to see that the final stage of the Pennyrile Parkway is coming to reality. This is a project that I have worked on for many years,” said Senator Joey Pendleton (D-Hopkinsville).
Safe Routes to School funding
Governor Fletcher also brought $250,000 for new sidewalks under the Safe Routes to School program, which is designed to make biking and walking to school a safer, more appealing and healthier alternative for students in kindergarten through eighth grade.
Sidewalks will be built along North Drive, creating a route on which young pedestrians and bike riders can get to school without straying into motor vehicle traffic. Parking lots and traffic flow through the North Drive Middle School campus will be reconfigured, and safety upgrades will be made at nearby intersections.
“Children are our hope for the future, and we must do everything we can to provide them with safe and healthy environments in which to learn and grow,” said Governor Fletcher. “Funding for this project will provide a much safer and more direct route for the students and will encourage walking and biking to and from school. Projects like this one help support healthy lifestyles, and help motivate students and get them into a mindset for learning.”
By making bicycling and walking safer and more appealing, Safe Routes projects complement Governor Fletcher’s Get Healthy Kentucky initiative. They have the added benefit of reducing traffic, fuel consumption and air pollution around schools.
“The number of children who walk to school on a regular basis continues to decrease, resulting in increased traffic congestion and decreased air quality,” said Governor Fletcher. “The Safe Routes program helps mitigate these problems while providing a healthy alternative to our students that will help them lead active, healthy lifestyles.”
“These improvements will benefit everyone because they underscore the importance of healthy lifestyles, physical activity, pedestrian and highway safety in and around our schools,” said Sen. Joey Pendleton (D-Hopkinsville).
The Safe Routes to School program was established in August 2005 as part of the federal transportation reauthorization legislation. State transportation agencies are creating and administering Safe Routes to School programs to allow communities to apply for funding for local projects. In 2006, the Transportation Cabinet awarded over $1 million in Safe Routes funding for 32 schools across the commonwealth.
“These improvements will literally change the landscape around the school, and will be beneficial to the health of students in Hopkinsville,” added Rep. Myron Dossett (R-Pembroke). “These changes mean our young people can travel to school safer and focus on their studies, not the condition of their school building and grounds."
October is National Safe Routes to School Month. All schools, not just those with Safe Routes funding, are encouraged to participate and promote walking and bicycling.
Information about the Safe Routes program in Kentucky is available at http://www.saferoutes.ky.gov.
$53,750 grant to Crofton for spray park
Governor Fletcher announced a $53,750 Land and Water Conservation Fund grant (LWCF) to the city of Crofton for development of a spray park in Gordon Park.
“As the recreational demands of Kentucky citizens broaden, it is important that we make progress in meeting their needs,” said Governor Fletcher. “The further development of Gordon Park will provide enhanced opportunity for physical activity in Christian County, benefiting the area’s children and families.”
The funding includes development of a spray park or splash pad, which involves play features, a water distribution system, and installation of equipment, concrete pad and utilities.
The 2,600-square-foot spray park will give Crofton residents access to outdoor recreation without the expense and maintenance involved with a swimming pool. Spray parks eliminate the risk of drowning and do not require lifeguards.
Beginning Dec. 15, 2007, the Governor’s Office for Local Development (GOLD) will accept applications for 2008 LWCF grants, available at www.gold.ky.gov. The deadline is March 1, 2008.
The LWCF provides grant funds to protect important natural areas, acquire land for outdoor recreation and to develop or renovate public outdoor recreation facilities such as campgrounds, picnic areas, sports and playfields, swimming facilities, boating facilities, fishing facilities, trails, natural area and passive parks. The LWCF is funded by the National Park Service and administered by GOLD.
$3,400 for cemetery restoration
Governor Fletcher announced a $3,400 Cemetery Preservation Fund grant to Christian County Fiscal Court for restoration of Butlertown Farms Cemetery and Pembroke Union Cemetery. The Butlertown project will include filling in graves, replacing gravel on the cemetery road, repair and replacement of fencing and mowing. The Pembroke project will include tree removal and construction of a 300 foot gravel road.
GOLD is the agency responsible for administering the Cemetery Preservation Community Funds.