Department of Highways, District 10
Governor Fletcher, Transportation Cabinet announce funding for KY 30 reconstruction project in Owsley County

Press Release Date:  Thursday, May 04, 2006  
Contact Information:  H.B. ELKINS
(606) 666-8841

JACKSON, KY - (May 4, 2006) – Governor Ernie Fletcher and Transportation Secretary Bill Nighbert have announced legislative approval of a major highway construction project in Owsley County.

On May 3, Secretary Bill Nighbert presented Owsley County officials with a check to symbolize the allocation of $3 million for design work on a project that will ultimately lead to the reconstruction of a 20-mile segment of KY 30 in Owsley and Jackson counties.

The event took place on the courthouse steps in London, with officials and residents of Jackson, Laurel, Lee and Owsley counties in attendance to symbolize the regional importance of this project. State Representative Marie Rader and State Senators Tom Jensen and Robert Stivers attended and spoke of the need for this project and their support for it.

"Governor Fletcher has made the reconstruction of KY 30 a priority in his administration," Secretary Nighbert said. "He understands how important this highway is to open up the region to industrial development and improve access for educational opportunities, health care and tourism. This is the type of project that will bring benefits to the entire area; beyond the county borders in which the project is located. This region of Kentucky has been neglected for far too long and it is time to help this area catch up to the rest of the state."

Representative Rader, who represents Owsley, Jackson and Laurel counties, spoke of the history of KY 30. She said the present route was built in 1930 and is inadequate for the amount of traffic it presently carries. She noted that Jackson County has no hospital, and improvements to KY 30 would improve access to health care for residents of Jackson County.

Senator Jensen, who represents Jackson and Laurel counties, said he realized that Jackson County's access to I-75 is via outdated highways and that one of his priorities is to improve roads in the region.

Senator Stivers, who represents Owsley and Lee counties, said that although the bulk of the KY 30 project lies in Jackson and Laurel counties, he considers construction of that highway to be his top priority because he understands its importance to the region.

Secretary Nighbert praised the three legislators for their dedication and their perseverance in moving the KY 30 project forward. "They have certainly worked very hard to secure funding for this new highway," he said.

In its recently concluded session, the General Assembly allocated $3 million to be spent in Fiscal Year 2006 for design of this highway that, when completed, will improve access to Interstate 75 for residents of Jackson, Lee and Owsley counties. The project will tie into other improvements to KY 30 that are either completed, under way or proposed in Jackson and Laurel counties, and will eventually become part of a corridor stretching from I-75 at London to the Bert T. Combs Mountain Parkway near Campton.

Preliminary work to determine the scope of work on this project will continue until funds are released by the Transportation Cabinet. Once those funds are authorized, a consultant will be hired and the design work will begin. The consultant should be selected and working by fall.



State Senator Robert Stivers, State Senator Tom Jensen, State Representative Marie Rader and Transportation Secretary Bill Nighbert with a ceremonial $3 million check for Owsley County for KY 30 reconstruction.