Mountain Parkway Project Groundbreaking Draws Politicos

CAMPTON, Ky. (AP) - State and local officials attended a groundbreaking ceremony today at Campton for a 48 (m) million-dollar project to widen a section of the Mountain Parkway.

Other than pavement resurfacing and bridge deck replacement, officials say it's the first noteworthy improvements to the parkway since it opened in 1963.

The project will include widening the parkway to four lanes between exits 43 and 46. It also will include the addition of a ramp from northbound Kentucky 15 at Campton to the eastbound lanes of the parkway.

Officials say the section being widened has been the scene of 18 accidents in the last three years, resulting in eight serious injuries and one fatality.

Governor Fletcher said today the project will improve the quality of life in the region for generations to come.

Talk of widening part of the twisting, two-lane highway has been an issue for decades. Some mountain residents had questioned the timing of today's ceremony, coming a little more than two weeks before voters decide whether to re-elect or replace Fletcher.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

AP-NY-10-20-07 1538EDT

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