FRANKFORT, Ky. – During a visit to Booneville today, Governor Ernie Fletcher made significant announcements concerning Owsley County highway investments. The Governor told local residents and officials that the priority section for reconstruction of KY 30 between Owsley and Jackson counties has now been identified.
“Currently, KY 30 is narrow, crooked and hilly. It does not meet modern standards,” said Governor Fletcher. “The proposed new Interstate I-75 to Mountain Parkway corridor, which is a priority for my administration, will be much safer for passenger vehicle and truck traffic. This highway will help connect people and resources in the entire region. It is vital to the economic development and traveling safety of residents of Owsley County, as well as Lee, Jackson and Laurel counties.”
Last year, $3 million was awarded for design of an approximately 20-mile section of KY 30 between KY 11 at Levi in Owsley County and US 421 at Tyner in Jackson County. The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) has determined that the priority section for reconstruction should begin at the KY 11 intersection and proceed west.
Currently, mapping on this project is underway and the KYTC is in the process of choosing a design consultant.
“The KY 30 project is one of our top regional priorities,” said Sen. Robert Stivers (R-Manchester). “It’s good to see that this much needed work is progressing. We appreciate Governor Fletcher’s support of this new road that will mean so much to the residents of Owsley and surrounding counties.”
Governor Fletcher also presented a ceremonial check in the amount of $54,000 to the Owsley County Fiscal Court for construction of a new route between Buffalo and Whoopflarea in the southern portion of the county. This route will provide transportation access to residents of the Whoopflarea area who must now travel through Perry and Breathitt counties to reach the county seat of Booneville. It is expected that this new route will save approximately 30 miles on a trip from the Whoopflarea area to Booneville. The improved access will save time and make travel safer.
“This project will help open up an isolated area of Owsley County and provide better access to the county seat,” Governor Fletcher said. “It also offers benefits to residents of adjacent sections of Perry and Clay counties. We appreciate the willingness of the Owsley County Fiscal Court to take the lead on this effort.”
The money for the Buffalo-Whoopflarea Road project comes from KYTC state contingency funding sources. The county has proposed to use its own equipment for construction of this route.
“Under Governor Fletcher’s direction, the Transportation Cabinet has always been responsive to the needs of our local communities,” concluded Rep. Marie Rader (R-McKee). “The governor has been a true friend to Owsley County and this region and we appreciate all he has done for those of us who live here.”