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Kentucky lawmakers opt to establish a localized state supported road plan

Special called legislative meetings were held across from the Senate Chamber 03-28-24
Stu Johnson
Special called legislative meetings were held across from the Senate Chamber 03-28-24

Kentucky House and Senate members have put their stamp of approval on more than $12 billion, most of it going to highway and bridge work. A brand-new initiative focuses on local roads.

Monticello GOP Representative Ken Upchurch noted it’s like a state road plan format for cities and counties. The chair of the Transportation Budget Review panel added legislators would be making decisions about requests from local officials. Upchurch said it would move from the executive branch to state lawmakers.

“It’s antiquated and we as the legislature feel that we’re just not getting what we need out of it. So, we decided to take a different approach,” said Upchurch.

Legislative approval came last week for road and bridge projects in both two and six-year plans. More than $6 million were also appropriated to set up three new regional driver’s licensing offices and recruit additional personnel.

Upchurch said that currently projects are distributed through the state rural road commissioner’s office.

“So what we’re doing is taking that program over as far as how it’s divvied out. We will define in legislation which roads actually get funded. So, it’s gonna be kind of like a city and county road plan similar to our state road plan,” said Upchurch.

Upchurch said the process will continue to include the grading of roads from one to ten in ranking the need for improvements. The overall state road plan budget includes an infusion of $450 million from the general fund.

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Stu has been reporting for WEKU for more than 35 years. His primary beat is Lexington/Fayette government.
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