In Feb. 4 Issue
Gov. Steve Beshear this week recommended Kentucky Highway Plan for fiscal years 2010 through 2016 as presented the General Assembly.
The recommended plan envisions an investment of $10,986,304,876 in Kentucky's transportation infrastructure. The funding is a combination of traditional federal and state highway funds and bond sales. The plan identifies more projects that would be eligible for federal stimulus funding and assumes a nontraditional funding source for the Louisville-Southern Indiana Ohio River Bridges project.
Details of the plan, found on the transportation cabinet's website, show that it intends the construction work on a new cloverleaf interchange to begin construction in 2010.
The interchange of the parkway and US-127 had been announced last year as part of the federal stimulus program. The state's road plan proposes to purchase the needed right of way and move any obstructing utilities this year, as well as getting construction underway. The price tag for that project was estimated at $2.35 million.
Also included in the proposed plan is $1 million for designing an interchange with the Cumberland Parkway and Ky-910 at Windsor.
Other work would include construction to replace a bridge on Ky-76 over Cooper Creek as well as the right of way purchase and utility work to make way for the improvement of US127 from the south end of the Jamestown Bypass to the intersection of Ky-55.
"This plan lays a strategic path to ensure Kentucky's most pressing highway improvement projects are realized," Beshear said. "The national economy has depressed traditional funding for roads, but we cannot afford to abandon our Commonwealth's infrastructure priorities."
He was joined in his support for the proposal by highway officials.
"The realities of the national economy and a less reliable federal highway trust fund create significant obstacles for states trying to plan for the future," acting Transportation Secretary Mike Hancock said. "We have laid out a budgeting strategy to keep Kentucky's highway program on track for the next several years. However, there are some long-term federal issues - including the health of the highway trust fund - that we hope will be soon addressed."
Some highlights of the recommended plan:
o $1.9 billion through FY 2016 for the Louisville-Southern Indiana Ohio River Bridges Project. The total assumes $1.44 billion of "innovative financing" to be determined by a Kentucky-Indiana bi-state authority. The total also includes $231 million from sale of Grant Anticipation Revenue Vehicle (GARVEE) bonds this year and in FY 2011.
o A $300 million sale of state road bonds, of which about $155 million would be available for new projects. The rest would be used to finish state projects from a bond sale in 2009.
o $112 million from a second sale of bonds to support "BRAC" projects associated with the realignment of Fort Knox.
o $330 million for new bridges over Lake Barkley and Kentucky Lake.
o $301 million through the coming biennium, and $611.1 million through FY 2016, for bridge replacements statewide.