$23 million planned for highway improvement near public schools; See complete list of projects here
Published 7:00 am Saturday, April 24, 2021
Gov. Andy Beshear has announced plans to invest $23 million to improve highway safety near public schools, protecting students, educators, and families.
The governor charged the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet with prioritizing and targeting safety projects near school sites using state funding allocated in the 2020 Highway Plan. Nearly 70 safety improvement projects in 44 counties across the state are included in the award.
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“These projects merge two key areas I’ve been committed to investing in since day one as governor: education and infrastructure,” Beshear said. “Once completed, these projects will ensure safe access to and around our schools, as well as improve quality of life for the thousands of Kentucky families that drop off and pick up children every day.”
Over the next two years, funding will be used to design and/or construct projects, ranging from new turn lanes and crosswalks to pavement markings and new entrances. Counties across the state will benefit from upgrades to existing school flashing lights, pedestrian crosswalk beacons, and roadside signs encouraging distraction-free driving. The new projects are also expected to create contracting and design jobs.
One of the more high-profile safety projects addresses a railroad underpass on South 3rd Street near the University of Louisville campus. The underpass is known locally as “The Can Opener,” because semis that exceed the height restriction end up with their trailers getting stuck underneath, oftentimes tearing off the top of the trailer in the process.
The safety project will fund the installation of a height detection warning that flashes lights and a digital message to warn truck drivers if their vehicle won’t clear the underpass, which has been the site of numerous truck crashes.
This $23 million investment follows Gov. Beshear’s announcement Tuesday of $5 million in discretionary funds to repair and build roads in 32 counties and cities statewide.