Beshear’s Highway Plan Stresses I-65 Widening, Bridges Project

by Gabe Bullard on January 19, 2012

Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear is touting his highway plan for the coming years. Beshear met with the Kentuckians for Better Transportation Conference in Lexington today to go over the details of his plan.

The document calls for billions of dollars in expenditures on multi-year roadway projects across the commonwealth. Transportation Cabinet spokesman Chuck Wolfe says two priority projects in the plan are the widening of Interstate 65 and paying for the Ohio River Bridges Project.

Wolfe says I-65 is one of the most-traveled roads in the state, and it’s time for it to be six lanes from border to border. The plan does not call for Interstate 64 to be widened east to west. The highway provides the key link between Louisville and Lexington. The mayors of the two cities are planning to develop a stronger economic corridor in central Kentucky, and as that develops, I-64 will likely become a priority.

“It seems reasonable to expect that will eventually happen. When that happens, there’s no way to say right now,” says Wolfe.

Until that happens, though, I-65 is a more important project for Beshear.

“I think that’s fair to say,” says Wolfe. “It’s the north-south corridor that has the greater volume of traffic. I-65 and I-75 both are high-volume corridors.”

The budget sets aside $50 million a year for six years for the bridges project. It augments that with a combination of standard bonds and toll bonds. The General Assembly typically makes its own revisions to the highway plan before approving it.

 

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