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County would get $6.3M for roads under House budget

Clark County would get $6.3 million for road projects as part of the $4.7 billion state transportation budget that passed the House Wednesday and moved on to the Senate for consideration.

The local projects would include:

— Extension of the Winchester East Bypass (Ky. 1958) from Irvine Road (Ky. 89) to Ky. 627 south of the city.

— A left turn lane on Ky. 627 by the entrance of 1590 Boonesboro Road

— Reconstruction of Lexington Road (U.S. 60) for safety improvements from I-64 in Clark County to 500 feet west of Sewell Shop Road.

State Rep. Les Yates, R-Winchester, announced the projects after the budget cleared the House Appropriations and Revenue Committee Tuesday.

“I am extremely pleased to share this news and glad that we were able to include these projects into the road budget,” Yates said in a press release. “Safe, reliable transportation is critical to public safety and quality of life.”

The lawmaker could not be reached for an interview before the Sun’s print deadline on Friday.

According to the Legislative Research Commission, the $4.7 billion biennial spending plan, House Bill 353, would fund $2.3 billion in state highway and bridge projects through fiscal year 2022. It passed 71-14. The projects were approved separately in the two-year construction plan found in HB 354, which passed by a vote of 72-12.

A separate piece of legislation approved by the House contains highway construction projects recommended for funding outside the biennium through fiscal year 2026, or what lawmakers call the “out years.” That legislation, House Joint Resolution 66, passed on a vote of 74-10. Yates voted for both bills and the joint resolution.

Kentucky state road funds are raised through the motor fuels tax (commonly called the gas tax), motor vehicle usage tax, vehicle and boat registration, motor vehicle operator’s licenses, tolls, and interest.

Legislators are meeting for the final days of the 2020 Regular Session to finish work on several priority measures, including the road plan and the state budget.

About Randy Patrick

Randy Patrick is a reporter for Bluegrass Newsmedia, which includes The Jessamine Journal. He may be reached at 859-759-0015 or by email at randy.patrick@bluegrassnewsmedia.com.

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