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Road construction planned on U.S. 119

FRANKFORT, Ky. – The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet has awarded two construction projects in the next steps of a long-term project to widen and straighten a portion of U.S. 119 (Harlan-Whitesburg Road) in Letcher County.

The projects will relocate:

• 1.3 miles of U.S. 119 from 1,000 feet west of KY 3404 to 1 mile southwest of Maggard Branch Road. Bizzack Construction LLC was awarded the contract on a low bid of $24,410,817. Completion date: Dec. 31, 2015.

• 1.82 miles of U.S. 119 from 1 mile southwest of Maggard Branch Road to Joe Day Branch. Kanawha Stone Company Inc. was awarded the contract on a low bid of $19,235,620.Completion date: Aug. 1, 2016.

The two project sections are among four needed for completion of the 7.1-mile Valley Floor section from near Partridge (KY 3404) to Oven Fork (KY 932). The remaining two sections are on track to be let for bid by the end of 2014.

Once complete, U.S. 119 in Letcher County will have wider lanes and shoulders, more passing zones and improved sight distance. The highway’s narrow, 9-foot lanes will be widened to 12 feet.

U.S.119 links the communities of Whitesburg, Cumberland, Harlan and Pineville and is a primary corridor for trucks hauling coal and timber, two of the region’s principal resources. Relocation of the roadway will improve safety and level of service, reduce response time for emergency vehicles and add capacity for future traffic demands.

U.S. 119 is part of the roads and corridors designated in the 1960s as the Appalachian Development Highway System. U.S. 119 in Letcher County and U.S. 460 in Pike County are the only APD routes left to be constructed or reconstructed in Kentucky.

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