Two Madisonville schools to get road upgrades to make them safer for students

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MADISONVILLE, Ky (WEHT) – Two Madisonville schools are getting some upgrades to improve school transportation safety in the area around each school.

Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear presented today a check of $2.2 million at James Madison Middle School in Madisonville on Friday. The check represents the money being invested in road projects for the middle school and Pride Elementary School. The goal is to keep students safe in the mornings and after school dismisses for the day. Governor Andy Beshear says he’s investing $23 million of discretionary funds into improving highway safety near schools across Kentucky.

“Hopkins County has such a good school safety program inside the school making sure students are safe. What about getting to and from school,” explained Governor Beshear. Daviess, Webster, McLean, Christian, and Hopkins counties are some Tri-State communities receiving funds to improve roads bordering schools. “We chose them based on need. Making sure that the most dangerous areas are getting fixed the fastest.”

The funding will allow for the design and construction of turn lanes near James Madison Middle School and Pride Elementary School. The ceremonial check represents $200,000 for design and $2 million for construction of the projects.

At James Madison Middle School, new left- and right-turn lanes will be constructed from Brown Road into the south entrance of the campus. The addition of turn lanes will alleviate backups and allow through-traffic to flow more smoothly.

“With a large school there is a lot of traffic in the morning and in the afternoons. Also we have seen every year a growing number of walkers,” said James Madison Middle School Principal Matt Melton.

At Pride Elementary, new turn lanes on Pride Avenue will significantly improve afternoon traffic flow into and out of the school property. In addition, to improve pedestrian safety, sidewalks within the turn lane project will be replaced, sidewalk ramps will be upgraded to be compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act and crosswalks will be restriped.

Since both schools are in residential areas, these road projects are also aimed at improving community member’s safety.

“A big part of the project is coordinating with the school systems and their traffic flow,” Deneatra Henderson, chief engineer for Kentucky Transportation Cabinet District 2, said she’s expecting the project at James Madison to begin next spring. The construction work at Pride Elementary should start next summer.

“We’ll do everything we can to do as much as we can during the summer months while school is out, but there will be some construction activities going on next fall as well,” said Henderson.

Both projects should be complete by the end of next year.

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