Harrison looking at $18.5 million in road improvements

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By Becky Barnes, Editor

If the transportation plan holds true over the next two years, Harrison County will see in excess of $18.5 million in road improvements.

The Kentucky legislature played some give and take to arrive at the 2014-16 Highway Construction Plan, according to state Rep. Tom McKee of the 78th House District.

“I’m very pleased to have voted for the transportation plan,” McKee said.

What came out at the end of the session was a proposal that maintained projects that were primarily safety measures and that had been in the last plan.

The largest project that held together in the House and Senate was a new entrance at Harrison Memorial Hospital on KY 32, said McKee.

He said KY 32 will be four lanes and will enhance the safety of turning in and out of HMH.

According to the plan, right of way purchases and utility relocation have been funded for 2014 for $2.2 million. Actual construction of the project is not slated to begin until 2016 with another $4 million price tag.

McKee said the key is to keep the projects in the transportation plan over the  next two years.

The money that’s in place now, McKee termed “good funding.”

A $4.2 million new bridge construction will be done in 2014 for the bridge over Mill Creek on KY 36, four miles west of Cynthiana.

Also in 2014 will be the right of way purchases and utility relocation for a reconstruction on U.S. 62 East at Salem Pike.

McKee said this was a dangerous spot on U.S. 62 where there have been fatalities.

The $3.9 million construction is slated for 2015.

Another reconstruction of a dangerous stretch of road has funding only for the right of way purchases and utility relocation.

U.S. 27 North at the 11.9 mile marker has $850,000 set aside for 2014. There is no construction funding yet.

According to Kevin Florence, state road supervisor for Harrison County, a textured surface was put in the “S” curve on U.S. 27 North and has so far proven effective for reducing accidents.

There is also a planned bridge replacement for Union-Robinson Road.

The plan calls for $200,000 to be used in 2014 for the right of way and utility needs. Another $3.38 million will used for the actual construction in 2015.

According to the biennial plan, Harrison County will receive $7.7 million in road work in 2014; $6.88 million in 2015; and $4 million in 2016.

Although not in the transportation plan, McKee said the state road department in Harrison County will get a new maintenance garage at a cost of $1.3 million.

The garage will be located off the new bypass on property purchased at the time that right of ways were being purchased.

Although not part of Harrison County’s projects, McKee said making U.S. 27 North four lanes between Campbell County and Butler has been funded. 

He estimated that it would be a five-year on-going project.

 Florence said there are other projects not listed in the transportation plan that he would like to see completed. He said cutting away a bank on Republican Pike in a sharp curve and one on U.S. 27 North at KY 1284 will improve visibility.