District 9
Governor Ernie Fletcher announces safety improvement project on U.S. 23 in Boyd County

Press Release Date:  Wednesday, August 17, 2005  
Contact Information:  Katrina O. Bradley, Chief District Engineer
District 9-Flemingsburg
(606) 845-2551





FLEMINGSBURG, KY - (Aug. 17, 2005) -- As part of the vision of Governor Ernie Fletcher and acting Transportation Secretary Bill Nighbert to provide a safe and reliable transportation system for all Kentuckians, work has begun on a $1.4 million safety improvement project on US 23 in Boyd County. The project will strengthen shoulders and improve turning lanes along a busy section of the route that is heavily used by coal trucks.


“U.S. 23 is not just known as the Country Music Highway and one of the nation’s scenic byways; it is also well-known as the nation’s busiest coal-haul route,” Governor Fletcher said. “Improvements to this road will mean a safer highway for coal trucks and passenger vehicles alike, resulting in safer travel for citizens and visitors through Eastern Kentucky and the Appalachian Mountains.”


“As a native eastern Kentuckian myself, I know the importance of the coal industry to the economic health of the region,” Secretary Nighbert said. “Besides improving safety, one goal of the Transportation Cabinet is to help promote economic opportunity. If we can complete projects that assist industry while at the same time keeping motorists safe from accidents, then we will do so whenever possible.”


The project extends from milepoint 4.0 to milepoint 5.7, or from approximately one mile south of the Rivereagle Kenwest terminal entrance northward to the Kentucky Coal terminal entrance. This project will repair and strengthen heavily rutted shoulders that are currently used by loaded coal trucks waiting to turn into the terminals on the Big Sandy River.


“Funding for this project came from the secretary’s discretionary account, plus a contribution of $50,000 from each of the two coal companies,” said Katrina O. Bradley, chief district engineer for the Department of Highways District 9, which includes Boyd County. “This is another example of the types of public-private partnerships that benefit everyone. We realize this is a necessary project and we are glad to be able to make this improvement to U.S. 23, which is one of our district’s most important highways.”


Drivers will encounter lane closures and may experience minor delays as the work progresses. Motorists are urged to use caution in the work areas, and to be alert for flaggers, workers, equipment that may block a portion of the roadway, and other items of concern in work zones. They should pay attention to warning signs alerting them of the roadwork and obey work zone speed limits where applicable.


Mountain Enterprises was awarded the low-bid contract for $1,443,409.05 and the work is expected to be completed by Nov. 30.