State Representative Looking For Funds To Complete Bridge For Industrial Site

By: Jeff Allen Email
By: Jeff Allen Email

It's supposed to be a site for industrial development which could mean jobs for Eastern Kentucky but right now, many people call a bridge to that site a bridge to nowhere.

Millions of your tax dollars have already been spent on the site near the Bell and Harlan County line but Representative Rick Nelson says lately, nothing more is being done and that's why he's hand delivered a letter to the governor in hopes that will change.

This is what many people call the "Bridge to Nowhere." Work began nearly ten years ago at a nearby reclaimed strip mine site with the hopes it could become a regional industrial park.

State Representative Rick Nelson is asking the governor to release ten million dollars to pave an access road to connect the bridge to the proposed industrial site.

"If we bring a business up here and they don't see a road up to the industrial site, they're gonna think we don't have the commitment to finish the project," Nelson said.

Local industry leaders say with plenty of water, rail, and abundant nearby coal, the site is prime for a possible coal to liquid fuel plant.

"This is our home run. If we don't get this access road built, there's no chance for us to have any industry up here," Nelson said.

The governor's office has not responded to Nelson's letter but a transportation spokesman says right now other projects have higher priority.

"The governor has the discretion to pick any project. He can pick up the phone and release this money," Nelson said.

Even if the governor handed over the money today, Representative Nelson says it would still take about a year and a half to build the access road to the site.

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