Governor, Transportation Cabinet Announce $10.6 Million Reconstruction of West Liberty-Morehead Road

FLEMINGSBURG, KY (May 9, 2007) - Governor Ernie Fletcher and the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet have awarded a $10.6 million contract to rebuild and make safer a section of highway vital to area residents and the students of Morehead State University - KY 519 in Rowan County.

The project was among six the Cabinet received bids for last month in Department of Highways District 9 counties. The Walker Company of Kentucky Inc. was the low bidder at $10,579,803.88. Work will include reducing curves for a safer alignment, widening lanes and building new bridges.

"I'm pleased to announce this significant improvement for a highway that serves as a major artery between eastern Kentucky communities, the Morehead and Morehead State University area," said Gov. Fletcher. "We owe it to our residents to keep the roads they travel every day to work or school in the best possible condition."

Design for the reconstruction of KY 519, otherwise known as the Woody May Highway, which connects West Liberty and Morehead, was authorized in November 1999. Construction funds were authorized in January.

The project starts where the US 60 Bypass meets KY 519 in Morehead and continues 2.7 miles to the bottom of Clack Mountain about a half mile south of Warren Branch. Along the way, crews will widen the road to include two 12-foot lanes with a turning lane and 8-foot paved shoulders, two new bridges and one widened bridge. Construction is expected to begin by this summer.

"Our mission is to provide a safe and reliable transportation system that enhances both quality of life and economic vitality in the commonwealth," said Transportation Cabinet Secretary Bill Nighbert. "This project is an excellent example of how the Cabinet and the Fletcher administration are fulfilling that commitment because the reconstructed road will not only better serve area residents but also improve safety and reliability for everyone who travels it, now and in the future."

That includes MSU students and faculty, who for many years have kept KY 519 heavily traveled as they make their way to classes at the main campus in Morehead or regional campuses in West Liberty, Prestonsburg and elsewhere.

"This entire project has been of interest to everyone for a long time, particularly because of the highway's use by the university community," said University President Dr. Wayne D. Andrews. "We're very pleased that another section is being improved."

Other District 9 construction project contracts awarded April 30 include:

Resurfacing of 1.77 miles of Reed Street (KY 207) in Greenup from KY 693 north to US 23: Mountain Enterprises Inc., $248,845.20.
Two projects to install guardrail on various sections of KY 207, KY 1 and KY 7 in Greenup County: Big Sandy Guardrail Inc., $73,751.93 and $71,855.91.
Resurfacing approximately 3 miles of various routes in Lewis County: Mountain Enterprises Inc., $98,948.40.

Construction activities are scheduled on a tentative basis and are subject to change depending on weather conditions. Motorists are asked to "Drive Smart" in work zones and be aware of workers and construction equipment when traveling in areas where projects are ongoing.

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