infrastructure

Ryland Barton, WKU Public Radio

Kentucky’s transportation cabinet has announced that it will pause new road projects over the next fiscal year starting July 1.

According to the cabinet, the “Pause-50” initiative will halt about $145 million in projects to help the state recoup lost revenue, pay current expenditures and rebuild the state road fund.

During a legislative committee hearing on Tuesday, Transportation Cabinet Secretary Greg Thomas said major projects will still move forward.

“We went to the districts, we determined what the priorities were; we also looked at projects that hadn’t fully developed or fully started in terms of the right of way and utility phase, and those were the projects that came up,” he said.

Road resurfacing projects, the Louisville bridges project, construction of the I-69 corridor and bridge replacement projects will still progress.

Kentucky Transportation Cabinet

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet has awarded a $128.3 million contract for a new bridge over Lake Barkley to Denver-based PCL Civil Construction.

The new Lake Barkley Bridge will carry US 68/KY 80 over Lake Barkley joining Trigg and Marshall counties and serve as the eastern entrance to LBL. 

“Replacement of the bridges over Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley has been a priority of my administration, and it’s a great pleasure to see the awarding of the culminating contract,” said Gov. Steve Beshear. “The importance of these bridges to the tourism industry of Western Kentucky cannot be overstated.”

The new bridge will place the 83-year-old Henry Lawrence Memorial Bridge and is part of the larger Lakes Bridge Project.  

The current bridge has only two lanes, each 10 feet wide with no shoulders.  The new bridge will feature a unique basket-handle tied arch design with four travel lanes, each 11 feet wide, plus 4-foot shoulders and a 10-foot-wide pedestrian/bicycle path.

A report released by a state commission says Tennessee needs $38 billion between now and 2015 to improve public infrastructure. Released by the Tennessee Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations, the report shows what type of improvements are needed, from repairing roads and bridges to adding additional water lines and sewers.