WILLIAMSBURG, Ky. (WYMT) - One highway in Whitley County is getting a major facelift in the next few years.
State transportation officials held a meeting Tuesday to share with property owners their plan to renovate a stretch of Kentucky 92 west of Williamsburg.
The $17 million dollar expansion will affect a roughly four mile stretch of Kentucky 92 between Paint Creek and the McCreary County line.
"What it will do is take a very narrow, though scenic route, a very curvy route, and replace it in sections with a widened, modern, two lane highway with adequate passing lanes," said Kentucky Department of Transportation spokesman Jonathan Dobson.
The renovations will also replace the outdated Jellico Creek Bridge. County officials say the upgrades will allow Kentucky 92 to better handle freight traffic running from McCreary County to the interstate, boosting commerce in the region.
"You know this has been one of the things that our community has sought after for 50 years, to see real growth in western Whitley County," said Whitley County Judge/Executive Pat White.
People attending the meeting said they had mixed feelings about the project. They said the road certainly needs work, but they wished it was somebody else's property that was being affected.
"I'd prefer it went some other way, but I understand you can't just zigzag around. You gotta make it straight," said Duell Lester, who lives in Ohio but owns property adjacent to Kentucky 92. He said a house and a barn on his land will have to be demolished.
In all, 35 properties will be affected, with 15 structures that will have to be torn down, but transportation officials say once the last of the asphalt has been laid, the new route will be a great improvement for commuters and commercial drivers alike.
The Kentucky Department of Transportation will begin the process of acquiring the right-of-way in the next couple of months. Construction on the project could begin as early as 2015.