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Mountain Parkway Expansion Meeting to Focus on Two Options


Eastern Kentucky residents will have a chance next week to learn more about options for widening the Mountain Parkway between Salyersville and Prestonsburg.  One option would add two lanes along the existing corridor, and the other would be to develop a new route just north of Kentucky 114.

Mountain Parkway Expansion Project Manager Marshall Carrier says transportation officials will consider public comments offered at the meeting.  “I know it seems like a very repetitive process, but it’s something that we feel like we need to do in an effort to determine what’s best for the public as far as connectivity as that’s not uncommon,” said Carrier.

The meeting will be held at Prestonsburg Elementary School on November 19 at 4:30 pm. A public forum was held last April when the transportation department first presented the expansion idea.   Carrier says a new path would involve additional construction costs.  “You’re gonna have high structure costs because you’re essentially traveling from ridge top to ridge top, you’re crossing several ravines and valleys and you’re gonna have taller than normal structures; so your structure costs are gonna go up,” explained Carrier.

But, Carrier says those costs must be weighed against the much higher right of way acquisition costs along the existing corridor.   “If you were to go along 114 it’s a trade-off," said Carrier. "Your construction costs go down, your earthworks costs go down, but your right of way impacts go up tremendously. ?So, it’s a balance between mobility and accessibility the entire time.”  

Carrier says a decision on a preferred route is anticipated in early 2016.  The expansion project for this stretch of the Mountain Parkway isn’t scheduled for completion until 2018. ?

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