DSC 0383WESTERN KENTUCKY (7/4/14) ― Good roads, highways and bridges are critical to the economy and is one of the most important services provided by government.

With the new I-69 slicing across his district, Kevin McClearn, P.E., Chief District Engineer for KYDOT District 2, has been a very busy fellow.

Multiple projects are proceeding simultaneously. The largest is upgrade is the interchange between the Pennyrile Parkway and Western Kentucky Parkway.  

I-69 follows the foot print of the two parkways but the transition from one to the other must be made without using ramps.  That means, motorists traveling north and south on I-69 will transition via long, sweeping turns with 70 mph speed capacity.

“This whole conglomeration only has two bridges and six ramps will stay the same,” said McClearn.  (Photo)

McClearn said that the old interchange contains eight ramps.  Only two of the ramps will be significantly changed.  The project is only the second in District 2 using “Design Build”, in which the contractor actually begins construction prior to design being completed.

“The advantages are that you get to construction much quicker,” McClearn explained.  “It takes special circumstances for Design Build to be effective.”

It is a big project ($29 million) that McClearn expects to be completed this time next year.

Considered one of the biggest traffic headaches in Hopkins County, is the Mortons Gap interchange that McClearn said could take over a year to complete with bids for construction expected to be let in January.

“That interchange with be a standard diamond” he said.

A Webster County exchange will be overhauled in the near future.

“The Sebree exchange was let last Friday and getting under construction in 4 to 5 weeks,” said McClearn.  

The exchange was originally designed for a toll booth and the ramps are inadequate by interstate standards.  The exchange has been reworked and repaired several times due to unstable ground.  The bridge will stay where it is and the upgrades will involve significant earthwork, said McClearn.

Interchange work in Henderson will be completed later this year.  In addition to the specific projects, other construction upgrades to the Pennyrile from the WK to Henderson have been let.  This work includes upgrading tapers (lengthening ramps on and off), bridge clearances and guardrails.

McClearn said that the section of highway will earn its “shields” next year and officially be I-69. When a parkway gets the shield, it then qualifies for federal interstate funding.

While all this is going on, McClearn oversees the rest of the second district (the largest in Kentucky) with the district’s 2,000 bridges ― the most of any district in Kentucky.  

“By federal law, each bridge must be inspected at least once every two years.  When we identify a bridge with problems, we inspect it every year.  Bridges that are showing deterioration may have their weight limits reduced or repaired or replaced,” said McClearn.

Ron Sanders
SurfKY News

LIKE SurfKY on Facebook - Click here to LIKE us now.

© Copyright 2015 SurfKY News Group, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, or rewritten without permission. SurfKY News encourages you to share this story on social media.

In Other News...

Children's Advocacy Benefit Rally on Target for Tomorrow

OWENSBORO, Ky. (4/17/15) — The Owensboro Police Department is pleased to announce the third annual Children’s Advocacy… Read More

Highland to Host Leadership Day

OWENSBORO, Ky. (4/17/15) — Highland Elementary School is hosting a special event titled "We're All A Buzz For… Read More
1 DOW 17,826.30
-279.47 (-1.54%)    
2 S&P 2,081.18
-23.81 (-1.13%)    
3 NASDAQ 4,931.81
-75.98 (-1.52%)    

Most Read This Week

April 13, 2015 6134

Three Juveniles, Adult Accused of Vandalizing…

by Deputy Will Coursey
April 14, 2015 4733

Several Juveniles Charged in Connection with Fight

by SurfKY News
April 16, 2015 3314

Crime Stoppers Fugitive of the Week – April 16,…

by Hopkinsville – Christian County Crime Stoppers
April 11, 2015 2950

Juvenile Injured When Struck by Vehicle

by Madisonville Police
April 12, 2015 2785

Police Searching for Hopkinsville Man Accused of…

by Paul Ray, HPD

Most Read This Month

March 18, 2015 10038

UPDATE: Hanson Man Located in Henderson, Taken to…

by Trooper Stu Recke
April 02, 2015 8419

UPDATE: Madisonville Man Injured in Head-on…

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News

Stories Trending Now

April 17, 2015 2424

An Open Letter from an Addict

by Olivia Kirks
April 17, 2015 925

Madisonville Police Reports Released

by Rita Dukes Smith, SurfKY News Director
April 17, 2015 907

Two Charged in Connection with Powderly Firearms…

by SurfKY News
April 17, 2015 757

Police Officers Building Up Community by Helping…

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
April 17, 2015 693

Hopkins County Sheriff's Reports Released

by SurfKY News
April 17, 2015 461

'The Bidding is On' at Annual Library Auction

by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
April 17, 2015 412

Brown Pitches Baseball to Series Opener over…

by UK Athletics
April 17, 2015 405

Free Seedling Plantings Available While Supplies…

by Amber Averitt, SurfKY News
April 17, 2015 296

Paducah Man Faces Multiple Charges after…

by SurfKY News