UPDATE: Plans to upgrade Mountain Parkway undergo public review

By: Tanner Hesterberg, Erika Glover Email
By: Tanner Hesterberg, Erika Glover Email
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WOLFE Co., Ky. (WYMT) - UPDATE: 9-23-14 11 p.m.

Members of the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet said the expansion of the Mountain Parkway is one of the largest projects in decades for Eastern Kentucky.

The goal is to widen 30 miles of existing road from two to four-lanes. This project will also extend the parkway an additional 16 miles, running from Campton to Prestonsburg.

The KTC held a public information meeting at Campton Elementary School Tuesday evening to discuss the improvements.

Project Manager Marshall Carrier said the project is long overdue.

"We want to improve the ability to transport goods and services as well as enable the people of Eastern Kentucky to transport themselves back and forth between Pikeville and Lexington," Carrier said.

KTC members said homeowners often ask how this project impacts their property.

"We're only going to deal with the property owners that are affected by any of the alternates and we want to do that in the best way possible," Carrier said.

This project will close the only gap in a 400-mile, four-lane, high-speed corridor, with hopes of improving connectivity for commerce and mobility.

Representative Hubert Collins (D-KY 97th District) said, "Until we get a four-lane highway through that way we're kinda at everyone's mercy."

The expansion costs more than $700 million and could take six to 10 years to complete. When finished the parkway will extend about 90 miles, from I-64 to US 23.

For more information on the project, visit http://MtnParkway.com or email info@MtnParkway.com. You can also follow the project on Twitter (@MtnParkway) or on Facebook (https://facebook.com/mtnparkway).

UPDATE: 01-23-14

Big changes could soon be coming to one stretch of road in Magoffin County.

Transportation officials want to upgrade U.S. 460 in Salyersville from the Mountain Parkway to the intersection of Kentucky 114.

"We'd be eliminating a lot of the current entrances along that route and replacing them with a series of frontage roads and signalized intersections," Kentucky Transportation Cabinet District 10 spokesman H.B. Elkins said. "Which means fewer conflict points for vehicle crashes."

The proposal calls for 460 to be widened from two lanes to four.

"It's obviously an economic generator," Elkins said. "The economic benefit of having a four-lane corridor has been long-discussed for Eastern Kentucky. It's one of the initiatives that came out of the SOAR summit in December."

People got the chance to look over the proposed changes at a public meeting Thursday night at Magoffin County High School.

Some folks who live near 460 expressed concerns that widening the road would change the routes they take to and from their homes.

Paul Gasparac has lived in Salyersville 65 years and thinks the project will benefit the area.

"We've been needing it for a long time, really," Gasparac said. "The traffic flow has gotten more congested. We drive to Lexington all the time and it's getting more and more congested. So we definitely need a four-lane highway and I think it will make it a lot safer."

Construction cannot begin until the General Assembly approves the Transportation Cabinet's six-year highway plan.

For information on submitting questions and comments on the plan, call (606)-666-8841.

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