Stimulus placed on road projects

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Bullitt County to receive over $75 million in road project improvements

By The Staff

SHEPHERDSVILLE - Bullitt Countians will see a lot of roadwork being done over the next several years, especially on main highways.

Much of the work will be pushed forward thanks to over $12 millions from federal stimulus funds.

In the state’s revised six-year road construction plan, major work is planned to move forward on roads such as Highway 44, Highway 61 and Interstate 65.

While local officials were pushing for a complete widening of Highway 44 between Shepherdsville and Mount Washington, state safety funds will be allocated to improve intersections at three locations.

Turn lanes would be part of the improvements on Highway 44 at Bells Mill Road, Bogard Lane and Armstrong Lane.

The three intersections would cost an estimated $7.8 million. The six-year plan calls for right-of-way acquisition and utility relocation to occur during the 2009-10 fiscal year. Construction on each of the intersections would be done during the 2011-12 fiscal year.

Widening of Preston Highway is a major project that has been in the road plans for years.

The approved plan would call for construction of all phases of the project in the 2009-10 fiscal year. The cost to widen and relocate the road from near Little Flock Church to Highway 44 in Shepherdsville would be over $39 million.

The portion of road improvements from Little Flock to John Harper Highway could be completed during the 2008-09 fiscal year.

The state is also planning to grind and resurface a half-mile stretch of Preston Highway during the 2009-10 fiscal year at a cost of $150,000.

Another major project is grinding and resurfacing of two major portions of Interstate 65 during the current fiscal year.

Over $18 million has been appropriated from national highway funds to do work from Lebanon Junction to just south of the Highway 245 interchange on both north and southbound lanes.

The same resurfacing would be done from just north of Shepherdsville to the Jefferson County line.

The state will contribute another $148,000 toward the relocation of Old Ford Road. This would be the second contribution toward the $2.6 million project.

The six-year plan has $1.9 million set aside for the right-of-way acquisition and utility relocation on Highway 44 East from the bypass two miles to the east.

No funds were planned yet for the actual construction of the project.

Cedar Grove Road would be widened from the interchange to past Cedar Grove Elementary.

The state agreed in 2006 to reimbursement the city of Shepherdsville up to $5.7 million for the project. In the road plan, the state is setting aside $4.7 million in the current fiscal year for construction.

The plan would also replace a bridge over Long Lick Creek on Beech Grove Road at a cost of $700,000 in the 2009-10 fiscal year.

Finally, the state is planning to widen Highway 245 from Bernheim Forest to the location of the new community college.

During the 2009-10 fiscal year, $4 million is set aside for the work.

Through the various funding sources, Bullitt County is slated to get almost $77 million in road projects through the 2011-12 fiscal year.

State Rep. Linda Belcher said she is pleased with the investment in Bullitt County’s future.

She said the stimulus funds helped to move forward projects which have been in the six-year road plan for years.

Especially important are improvements on Highway 44 and Highway 61.

The goal is to use the money to get the projects completed over the next few fiscal years, said Belcher.

She said state officials are still awaiting word on water and sewer projects to be funded through the stimulus money.