Safety improvements planned for KY 38 in Evarts

By: Angela Sparkman Email
By: Angela Sparkman Email

EVARTS, Ky. (WYMT) - People who live in one part of Harlan County say rock slides are putting lives at risk on Kentucky Highway 38.

City, County, and State officials are working together to improve safety.

Nellie Hendrix lives off of Kentucky 38. She has quit driving on parts of the highway towards Evarts.

"I had to go through there almost everyday but recently, I've been avoiding it because it's very dangerous and you can see the hillside ready to slide off," Hendrix said.

Evarts officials say rock slides happen often on the highway.

"All the way up and down 38 is bad," said Cledo Powers, Evarts Fire Chief.

Two weeks ago, trees fell down on the road, then a truck hit them and burst into flames, seriously injuring two men in the truck.

"That was very dangerous because it caught on fire," said Powers.

Evarts leaders say the rock falls create problems for fire trucks and ambulances who have no other easy way in and out of Evarts.

"It isolates the area and then puts everyone else in danger," said Powers.

Now city, county, and state leaders are planning safety improvements.

State officials say the Transportation Cabinet is doing a study of the highway to see which areas need the most work.

Hendrix says she is looking forward to the improvements, but until then is staying off parts of the road.

"We've seen the rock slides. We know what happens," said Hendrix.

Evarts officials believe the eventual improvements will make a difference.

Transportation Cabinet officials say once the study is complete, state legislators will know where to direct funding for improvements.

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