Progress on major road project in Floyd Co.

FLOYD COUNTY, Ky. (WYMT) - It is a huge road project and officials say it will make traveling through part of Floyd County quicker and easier.

For nearly two decades transportation officials have talked about it. Sara George with Kentucky Highway District 12 says, "The design stages started in the early 90's, so it has been some time."

The Harold to Minnie connector will be a four lane road giving folks a direct route between U.S. 23 in Harold and KY 80 in Minnie. it is something folks in the area are excited about, like physicians at the Pikeville Medical Center Harold Clinic. Dr. Paula Jones explains, "As a medical practice we get a lot of patients who come through from that area, so I think it is a wonderful thing."

The project consists of three sections, crews are currently working on the section in Harold which runs from U.S. 23 to Branhams Creek. The expected completion date is by late summer or early fall. Then work will begin on the middle section of the road runs which from Simpsons Branch to Minnie, that section features long bridge that will stretch 2,500 feet. George says, "1.2 million pounds of steel in the deck, so that is going to be interesting."

Officials with Kentucky Highway District 12 say this is a huge project for them and once completed it will really open things up for folks traveling through the area.

George explains, "It is an extremely important project, it will help with traffic congestion in this area because it will reroute traffic from 80 and 23. There will be a more direct route, for example for people who are coming from West Virginia going to Hazard, they will be able to cut off at Harold and go directly over to KY 80."

Another benefit of the project officials say is that more property will open up for development in the area. Officials say the project is moving forward at a fast pace, it is in the six year plan and is already fully funded.

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