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KY 146 realignment route chosen

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By Brad Bowman

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet has chosen the realignment route for KY 146 with the least amount of invasive construction, and work is slated to begin in 2016.

At the end of April, the KYTC held a public meeting at New Castle Elementary School with project managers and engineering firm GRW Inc. Engineers and transportation cabinet officials presented three routes on aerial and survey maps for the public. The cabinet has chosen alternate 3 with finalized design plans projected by early 2013.

“The project team agreed on Alternate 3 because it was favored by the public, it has the least amount of property impacts and the least utility impacts,” said Matt Bullock, Chief District Engineer for the Department of Highways Louisville District.  “This alignment meets all of the geometric requirements for safety and will cost less to construct than the other alternates.”

The alternate includes improvements made in 2006 near Safety Kleen, and has a projected $23.5-million price tag. Alternate 3 takes the same route as alternate 1 on the project’s website map extending south of KY 146 at mile point 4.5 and Broko Lane. The costs also will cover design, utility relocation, construction and right-of-way acquisition.

Traffic data on KY146 from 10 years ago averaged four accidents per mile with 4,200 cars traveling the roadway daily. The cabinet gave priority to this segment due to the high number of crashes and least amount of invasive impact to property owners.

“We certainly want to cooperate with property owners and minimize the impact,” said Ron Geveden, right-of-way supervisor. “We are required to make a fair market value offer on property. We don’t low-ball anyone. We want to not just be fair to the property owners, but also be fair to Kentucky taxpayers.”

Geveden expects the project to absorb at least 50 parcels per phase with one to two years allotted for acquisition

“When we begin the right of way phase we will be happy to meet with property owners to discuss with them the process. They can call me and set up an appointment,” Geveden said.

“We will help them move from point A to point B. We assist them in finding safe and sanitary housing, pay for moving expenses in several ways. If someone wants to use professional movers we will reimburse them. There will always be some headaches and we try to minimize that. They need to know their relocation benefits. Not knowing what is going on is the hardest part.”

Final design plans will be approved in Frankfort by early 2013 with right-of-way acquisition starting in 2014. Construction will start in 2016 for Phase 1 beginning at KY 153 in Pendleton to Lost Creek Estates and Phase 2 from Lost Creek Estates to U.S. 421 New Castle. Work on Phase 2 will start at the same time with a year delay on each stage: design plans, appraisal, right-of-way, the relocation of utilities and construction.

Cabinet officials warn that  given the size of the project that timelines do change.

“The KY 146 project funding is currently programmed in the state highway plan,” said Keith Downs, KYTC District 5 project manager.  “It is the Cabinet’s goal to advance the project as quickly as possible.”

Right-of-way acquisitions are just one component affecting construction timelines. Utility relocation is another.

“The speed of the right of way acquisition and the utility relocation will dictate to some degree how fast the two segments will advance to construction,” Downs said.  “At this time, it is unclear to what extent which utilities in each of the segments can be relocated during construction.  The greater the number of utilities that can be relocated during construction, the sooner it can begin.”

For more information about the project visit: transportation.ky.gov/District-5/Pages/KY-146-Realignment.aspx.

E-mail us about this article at news@hclocal.com.