Governor's Office for Local Development

Press Release Date:  Thursday, April 12, 2007  
Contact Information:  Lanny Brannock
Andi Johnson
Public Information Officer

Governor Ernie Fletcher today announced a $58 million project for the much-needed reconstruction of a winding, outdated section of KY 92 in McCreary and Whitley counties.


The project, a key to greater traffic safety and a spur to economic development in the area, was among several highway improvement projects the Governor announced, along with state and local officials, in Williamsburg.


“Good roads lead to better opportunities, and local transportation infrastructure is a vital part of that equation,” said Governor Ernie Fletcher.  “This project is critical to the safety and economic prosperity of Williamsburg, Whitley County and McCreary County. I’m happy to be here today to present this long-awaited funding to the community.”


The Governor presented a ceremonial check totaling $58 million for the KY 92 relocation project, which extends from U.S. 27 in McCreary County to Cornbread Branch in Whitley County.  At an estimated cost of $19.5 million, the Whitley County portion of the project stretches approximately four miles. 


The innovative design/build approach allows different phases of the project, such as design and construction, to proceed simultaneously, resulting in 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.

Other ceremonial checks presented by the Governor in Williamsburg today were:


  • $7 million to the citizens of Whitley County for construction of a new I-75/KY 92 interchange at Exit 11.  The new diamond interchange will replace the existing infrastructure to improve safety and reduce congestion. 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.  
  • $8.5 million to the citizens of Whitley County for paving of a newly constructed section of KY 92 from Cornbread Branch to KY 296
  • $500,000 in Transportation Cabinet bond funds to the Whitley County Fiscal Court for county road improvements
  • $200,000 to the citizens of Williamsburg for city street improvements


“As a former mayor of Williamsburg, I understand the importance of these projects,” said Transportation Cabinet Secretary Bill Nighbert. “Governor Fletcher’s leadership has fostered significant transportation improvements throughout the commonwealth, including the vital relocation and construction along KY 92.  We owe him our thanks for his commitment to improving the quality of life for all Kentuckians.”


“Improving KY 92 will enhance safety for the traveling public and will provide an important link between US 27 and I-75,” said Senate President David Williams (R-Burkesville).  “Ensuring safe and efficient mobility for this region is one of my top priorities.  Today’s announcement by Governor Fletcher will help ensure we continue to focus on improving infrastructure for our citizens.”


“The infrastructure improvements announced today will help move this community forward,” added Rep. Charles Siler (R-Williamsburg).  “I want to thank Governor Fletcher for his leadership and commitment to our community.  These projects are prime examples of the great achievements that can be made when we all work together.” 


Governor makes a surprise Renaissance on Main announcement


In a surprise presentation, Governor Fletcher awarded a $60,000 Renaissance on Main grant to the City of Williamsburg for costs associated with the acquisition of the historic Lane Theater.


“The Lane Theater is an important part of the history and culture in Williamsburg,” said Governor Fletcher. “The Renaissance grant assists the city with the first phase of the facility restoration plan. Preserving this historic building adds a sense of vibrancy to downtown and helps spark increased economic investment in the area.”


Renaissance on Main, formerly Renaissance Kentucky, is a community revitalization grant program that provides cities with funding to restore and maintain their downtown areas. The grant program focuses on promoting economic development and preserving local heritage. 


The Lane Theater, built in 1948 on Main Street in the heart of Williamsburg,  exemplifies art deco style and  recently was added to the National Register of Historic Places.


Real estate acquisition and facility renovation grants are available for certified Renaissance on Main communities through a competitive application process.

The Renaissance on Main program partners with the Kentucky Heritage Council/Main Street Program, the Kentucky Department of Tourism, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, the Kentucky League of Cities, the Kentucky Housing Corporation, the Federal Home Loan Bank of Cincinnati and the Governor’s Office for Local Development (GOLD). GOLD is the agency responsible for administering the funding for this project.


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