FRANKFORT, Ky. (6/17/14) — Governor Steve Beshear announced award of a contract for more of the improvements needed for bringing a portion of the Breathitt-Pennyrile Parkway up to interstate standards and eventual designation as Interstate 69.
“This is another big step toward our goal of an I-69 Corridor from the Ohio River to the Tennessee border,” Gov. Beshear said. “I-69 will be an enduring asset to western Kentucky and, indeed, to the entire Commonwealth.”
The new project will result in improvements to a 36.4-mile stretch of the Parkway in Hopkins, Webster and Henderson counties. The project includes pavement rehabilitation, new lighting, reconstructing ramps, widening overpass bridges and fixing vertical clearance issues on some overpass structures. Addressing outdated bridge barrier walls, disjointed pipes along the routes and low or damaged guardrails also fall within the scope of the contract.
Hall Contracting of Kentucky Inc. was awarded the contract on a low bid of $11.93 million. The contract has a completion date of Aug. 1, 2015.
Once complete, I-69 in Kentucky will run north to south from the Ohio River at Henderson to the Tennessee border at Fulton. Completion of the corridor requires improvements to portions of three Kentucky parkways, all of which originally were toll roads, the Breathitt-Pennyrile, Ford-Western Kentucky and Carroll-Purchase parkways.
To date, 55 miles of the corridor are complete – from roughly Nortonville to the interchange of I-24 and the Carroll-Purchase Parkway near Gilbertsville – and the route now bears the red, white and blue shields of I-69. In October 2011, Gov. Beshear and then-Federal Highway Administrator Victor Mendez unveiled the first I-69 shield, near Nortonville.
One of the main challenges of the entire I-69 project has been the need to rebuild interchanges that were designed to accommodate drivers who were slowing and stopping at toll plazas – as opposed to merging with or exiting from 70 mph interstate traffic. Reconstruction of the Kentucky 416 interchange in Henderson County is underway, as is reconstruction of the Pennyrile Parkway-Western Kentucky Parkway interchange. Two remaining interchanges – at Kentucky 56 near Sebree and at Mortons Gap – may be put up for bids later this month and in January 2015, respectively.The remaining portion of the I-69 Corridor is scheduled to have signs in place in late 2015.
Information provided by Office of the Governor
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