Road Plan Passes, But Some Worried About Project Priorities

Published 04/16 2014 07:23PM

Updated 04/16 2014 07:29PM

Before wrapping up this year's General Assembly, Kentucky lawmakers pass a two-year road plan.  More than $4 billion will be spent on road projects.  But some western Kentucky lawmakers and residents aren't completely happy with the details.

Patty Walker's seen a lot on Kentucky 56 in Union County.

"I've seen trucks up and down this road everyday," she says. A lot of trucks, and a lot of wrecks.

"We've had people in our yard, hit our mailbox, they've gone through that fence over there I don't know how many times across the street," Walker recalls.

Work has started on the first phase of widening Kentucky 56, but progress won't be seen on phase two anytime soon.  That's because it wasn't given high priority in the two year road plan, despite Governor Beshear pushing for it , and safety concerns.  It's one of several Union County projects put behind others.

"This part needed it worse than the other part because we're more narrow," says Walker.

"There were a lot of projects put in from eastern Kentucky, there was a lot of money spent in eastern Kentucky that was taken out of some of the projects from our area," says Rep. Suzanne Miles.  She says the lack of priority is one issue she had with the plan.  She was also worried about funding by county, saying some eastern Kentucky counties got higher priority at the expense of western kentucky.  For fiscal year 2014, Union County got more than $11 million, but Pike County got more than $48 million.

"All the people in the state of Kentucky pay their taxes to pay for our roads. And whenever we have areas, like Union County, that are being slighted or put further back in line to have safety issues taken care of is extremely frustrating," she says.

Phase one is underway, but some want to see a safer road soon before they see something bad.

"I'm hoping that they do," adds Walker. "I really do because this part of town needs it."

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