Governor Beshear has announced the awarding of a contract that will lead to the next round of highway improvements related to the Interstate-69 project. Hall Contracting of Kentucky Inc. won the contract with a bid of just under $12 million.
The new project involves upgrading a 36-mile stretch of the Pennyrile Parkway that runs through Henderson, Hopkins, and Webster counties. The improvements will include new pavement and lighting, and the widening of overpass bridges.
The project’s targeted completion date is Aug. 1, 2015.
The ultimate goal is to have Interstate-69 in Kentucky run from the Ohio River in Henderson south to the Tennessee border at Fulton. Before that can happen, portions of three parkways have to be upgraded—the Pennyrile, Western Kentucky, and Purchase.
Those three parkways were all once toll roads. One of the challenges of finishing the I-69 project has been the rebuilding of interchanges originally designed to handle motorists stopping at toll plazas, as opposed to merging and exiting from 70 miles per hour interstate traffic.
Another western Kentucky aluminum smelter has given notice that it intends to shut down in a year because of increasing electric rates.
Media reported the Rio Tinto Alcan aluminum smelter in the Webster County town of Sebree gave notice Friday of its intention to follow the lead of Century Aluminum in Hawesville. Century filed its notice in August.
The notice from Rio Tinto Alcan comes as Big Rivers Electric Corp. seeks a substantial rate increase citing the impending loss of Century, its biggest customer.
Rio Tinto Alcan spokesman Kenny Barkley said Big Rivers is seeking a rate increase from $50 per megawatt now to $60 per megawatt, and that rate isn't sustainable. The smelter has 488 employees.
Kentucky Transportation Officials say lightning struck an oil well tank in Webster County late last night, igniting a fire that led to the temporary closure of U.S. 41. The state's Transportation Cabinet says the lid from one of the tanks was blown onto the nearby highway. No injuries have been reported in connection with the incident, which started shortly after 10 pm.