The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) today announced four zones, or possible, broad US 27 to I-75 connector pathways that will be studied in greater detail during the next year and compared with the “No-Build Option.”
These studies, often referred to as preliminary design, involve exhaustive analysis, including traffic projections, possible road alignments, costs, and environmental impacts. State and federal requirements guide the process, including the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).
The resulting report will help answer the decades-old question of whether or not a beneficial, affordable, constructible and environmentally responsible connector between US 27 in Jessamine County and I-75 in Madison County can be built.
“The study of possible new roadways is an investment in our transportation system. We must deliver economic opportunity and enhance the quality of life in Kentucky while protecting our environmental, historical and cultural assets,” said District Seven project development branch manager Robert Nunley. “Whether or not it is determined that a connector is feasible, we soon will have a lot more information about the region’s resources and its transportation needs.”
The zones were selected from eight initial options based on comments received from the Citizens’ Advisory Committee, public stakeholders, and the Project Team. They include the following:
Zone 2: Zone 2 is located in the southern part of the Project Corridor. There are fewer overall potential impacts with Zone 2 than Zones 1, 4, 6, and 8. The perpendicular crossings of Hickman Creek and the Kentucky River and the avoidance of the Chrisman Mill Reserve improve the potential constructability for this zone. Zone 2 is wider in Madison County to allow for better avoidance of historic resources. This zone goes south of White Hall and the surrounding park.
Zone 3: Just north of Zone 2, Zone 3, along with Zone 5, has the fewest overall potential impacts. In Jessamine County, Zone 3 allows for a better, more constructible crossing of Hickman Creek and more constructible interchange locations at Logana Road and Jacks Creek Pike. Zone 3 crosses the Kentucky River perpendicularly as well, but farther north than Zone 2. Zone 3 goes north of White Hall and the surrounding park area.
Zone 5: Zone 5 is in the center of the Project Corridor in Jessamine County and moves to the northern boundary in Madison County. This zone has the fewest overall potential impacts of all zones studied to date. Zones 3 and 5 cross the Kentucky River in the same location, but then Zone 5 moves north in Madison County and hugs the northern boundary of the Project Corridor.
Zone 7: Located mostly in the northern part of the Project Corridor, Zone 7 crosses the Kentucky River south of the Valley View Ferry. This river crossing is one of the least complex and more constructible crossings due to the lower elevations on each side of the river. Again, Zone 7 hugs the northern-most boundary of the Project Corridor in Madison County, as does Zone 5. Potential historic impacts are fewer in this northern area due to less development over the years; however, as is the case with Zone 5, the terrain makes construction more difficult.
A map showing Zones 2, 3, 5, and 7 is available at I-75Connector.com, as is additional information about the project. Maps showing the zones also may be viewed at KYTC’s District Seven office at 763 West New Circle Road in Lexington. Public comments may be sent to KYTC at that address. Or, to speak with someone about the project, contact KYTC project manager Ananias Calvin III at 859-246-2355.