Department of Highways, District 10
Governor Fletcher announces beginning of paving and widening project on KY 52 in Estill County

Press Release Date:  Thursday, June 16, 2005  
Contact Information:  H.B. Elkins, PIO
District 10

JACKSON, KY – (June 16, 2005) -- Orange "Road Work Ahead" signs are in place, and construction is about to begin on a major project to improve the state’s transportation network in Estill County.

Governor Ernie Fletcher and acting Transportation Secretary Bill Nighbert announced today that Hinkle Contracting Corp. is set to start work Monday, June 20 on a project to resurface and widen 0.83 miles of KY 52, Richmond-Irvine Road, between KY 3327 and KY 499 in West Irvine. This was originally part of a resurfacing contract that also included paving on KY 89 (Winchester Road) and KY 2455 (Rice Street in Irvine), but the authorization of an additional expenditure of $225,000 allowed for the addition of a center turn lane to this busy section of highway.

This portion of KY 52 carries an average of approximately 15,000 vehicles per day. Several restaurants and other businesses are located along this highway, and the West Irvine Elementary School and Estill County Enrichment Center are nearby.

"We are pleased that this project will play a major role in the continued development of economic and residential opportunities for the citizens of Irvine and Estill County," Governor Fletcher said. "This new road expansion will improve safety to children and their parents who attend nearby West Irvine Elementary School, and residents utilizing a nearby community center. The addition of this turn lane fits into our continued vision to provide a safe and reliable transportation system for all Kentuckians."

"This road is also the major commuter route for residents of Estill, Lee and Owsley counties who work or attend school in Richmond and Lexington," Governor Fletcher added. "The addition of the center turn lane will improve safety and ease congestion on this busy highway."

"This is part of the vision of Governor Fletcher and Secretary Nighbert to provide a safe and reliable transportation system for all Kentuckians," said Linda Wagner-Justice, chief district engineer for District 10 of the Department of Highways. "This improvement will help ensure better, safer traveling for all drivers who use these roads."

Traffic going from Richmond to Irvine, Beattyville and Booneville, and vice versa, will be impacted. Delays are likely. During the work, motorists may wish to use KY 89 (Winchester Road) and KY 499 (the Joseph Proctor Bypass) as an alternate route.

Motorists are urged to watch out for flaggers, workers and equipment during the work period. They are also reminded to slow down in construction zones, to obey any posted speed limit reductions, and to pay attention to any traffic control devices such as cones, barrels or barriers they may encounter in the work area. There will likely be delays in the work area, so drivers should plan their trips accordingly.