Pike County highway one step closer to reality

By: Kendall Downing Email
By: Kendall Downing Email

It's a multi-million dollar project that will improve transportation in Pike County.

Governor Beshear and others broke ground Friday for the US 460 construction. Work has already started on smaller sections of the highway but none of them are joined together yet.

It's a groundbreaking that's been much anticipated.

"I've been working on this project almost daily for ten years. I grew up in this area and traveled the existing road all my life," said John Michael Johnson, U.S. 460 Project Manager.

Now folks in Elkhorn City and Pike County have reason to celebrate. The state can work to connect segments of the highway after receiving an additional $94 million in funding.

"We have been isolated too long in these mountains. We are America's Energy Capital, and yet we've been isolated," said Wayne T. Rutherford, Pike County Judge-Executive.

"Being born in Pike County, being raised in Pike County, and seeing the transformation in the form of infrastructure improvements, it's remarkable," said State Senator Ray Jones.

Local and state officials gathered Friday in Elkhorn City to mark the occasion.

"It's going to transform the area. This has needed to be opened up, and this four-lane highway we're going to put in here is going to open it up," said Governor Steve Beshear.

Officials said the plan will create 200 acres of flat land for development.

"My personal goal is to be driving from Pikeville to the Breaks State Park by 2020, and that is a realistic number," said Johnson.

Some parts of the road may be open in three years.

Highway crews had to move more than two hundred families from their homes in order to begin construction on the roadway.

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