The completion of a relocated U.S. 641 from Fredonia to Eddyville remains a top priority for Lyon County and more than $24 million toward the project appears on the 2020 Recommended Highway Plan released last Thursday.
The Caldwell County portion of the project did not appear on the initial release of the plan, but Lyon County Judge-Executive Wade White said the entire project will appear under Lyon County's list of projects because Kentucky Transportation Cabinet Highway District 1 out of Paducah, which includes Lyon County, is taking the lead on the long-awaited project. Caldwell County lies is District 2.
In addition to three Interstate 24 resurfacing projects in Lyon County totaling $16.7 million and another $1.9 million for restroom facilities at both the east- and westbound weigh stations, the relocated U.S. 641 project in the county shows $5.29 million for right-of-way acquisition and utility construction in 2021 and $19.13 million for construction in 2024.
The first leg of the U.S. 641 project from Marion to Fredonia was completed in 2018.
The highway plan has a long way to go before being finalized prior to adjournment of the current session of the Kentucky General Assembly on April 15.
But state Rep. Chris Freeland, R-Benton, who represents Lyon County in Frankfort, said he feels certain the entire U.S. 641 relocation project will make the final cut when the six-year plan is sent to Gov. Andy Beshear.
"I still feel confident plans will proceed as scheduled because the money and time already invested in this project," he said. "The 641 project is my number one priority, and I know (Lyon County Judge-Executive Wade) White and many others in Lyon, Caldwell and Crittenden want to finally get this done, too."
There is another Lyon County project on the radar but not in the highway plan, said White.
"We also have a turn lane coming to (the) industrial park that (Eddvyille Mayor) John Choate and I have been working on," the judge-executive said. "It's small enough not to be in the road plan."
The overall plan features a historic two-year investment of $100 million to improve safety conditions on rural roads through the Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP), infuses $8 million in the biennium to install more than 100 miles of life-saving guardrail across the state and invests $367.5 million to accelerate progress on the Mountain Parkway and I-69 Ohio River Crossing projects, including one at Henderson.
The 2020 Recommended Highway Plan is based on revenue forecasts of $6.1 billion in traditional state and federal highway dollars during fiscal years 2021-26.
Of that total, $3.6 billion is dedicated to highway projects, $1.1 billion is used to address the backlog of bridge and pavement needs and the balance is for federal projects and debt service.