Ground Breaks on Kentucky 56 Widening in Union County

Published 03/11 2014 06:29PM

Updated 03/11 2014 06:39PM

Kentucky 56 in Union County has been the scene of many wrecks and close calls over the years. But residents will soon see a solution. Crews will start widening a four mile stretch.

There's room to drive on Kentucky 56. But no room for error.

"At night, when they hit those brakes, you go, 'bump, bump, bump', you don't know whether it will go through the house or where they're going to go," says Karen Adamson of Spring Grove. She's seen many drivers run out of room.

"They usually run through our fence."

But they, and drivers, will soon get the extra room that's needed for everyone's safety. A four-mile stretch of Kentucky 56 from Morganfield to Spring Grove will be widened starting this year, two 12 foot lanes and 10 foot shoulders.  It's the first phase in a major overhaul of this important artery.

"When you've got an eight foot shoulder on the road, it's going to be a big improvement, and help out a whole lot," says Union Co. Magistrate Chuck Ball.

"I'm excited about it," says Gov. Steve Beshear. "We're going to push it forward. We're going to push the next phase forward, and we're going to get this done."

Union County and state officials say it also allows trucks weighing up to 80,000 lbs. to use the highway for a shorter and safer trip. While some worry about losing their yards or homes because of the widening, they say the end result will be worth it.

"If we have to move, we'll go, as long as it makes it safe for the people of Kentucky to go down through there and for the kids to be safe," says Adamson.

Transportation officials say once all phases of the project, including this one, the highway will become a part of the National Trucking Network. The project should be complete by September, 2015.   

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